Driving on Bald Tires

September 1st, 2018 by

2 Mazda Vehicles By Lake

How long has it been since you’ve examined your tire tread? While drivers log thousands of miles per year, not everyone finds the time to check their tire tread depth – and the consequences can be dangerous. Driving on bald tires is a major hazard, and over 25 percent of all car crashes studied by the NHTSA were caused by insufficient tread! Luckily, a little routine maintenance can make a huge difference in your car’s performance – and your peace of mind. Let’s go into the basics of tire wear.

Why Should I Care About Tire Wear?

Tire tread helps your vehicle maintain traction while on the road. This is particularly important during the harsh Chicagoland winter weather when snow and ice can turn the roads into a slippery mess. The grooves of your tire tread deflect moisture away from the tire as you travel, so you can maintain good contact with the road. When your tread is worn and uneven, you are at a higher risk for issues like:

  • Blowouts
  • Decreased air pressure
  • Hydroplaning
  • Heat buildup
  • Unsafe handling
  • And more

How Can I Tell if my Tires are Bad?

Take a look at your tires at least once a month to make sure that everything looks fine. If you want to quickly check your tire tread depth, grab a tire tread gauge for precision and make sure that your have over 1/16th of an inch left. Don’t have a gauge? Grab a penny! Drop the penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head facing you as you measure. If you can see the entire head, you’re good to go. If not, schedule a visit to the dealership. Additionally, many tires have tread indicator bars built into the tire. If you can spot them, then your tread depth level is too low.

How Do I Keep my Wheels in Good Condition?

A good tire rotation can help reduce tire wear and prolong the lifespan of your set. We recommend a tire rotation every 7,500 miles or six months for maintenance. What if your tire tread depth is insufficient? Schedule a visit to the Biggers Mazda tire center in Elgin, near Streamwood and Bartlett, and we’ll get you back on the road in great condition!