Time For New Tires? 5 Tips On How To Know

June 28th, 2013 by

Auto mechanic in his workshopFor many of us, summer time is travel time. The highways will be filled with families loaded up in their cars headed off to enjoy the sun or embrace a new adventure. We remember it as kids, and even now in adulthood we still cling to the thrill of a summer road trip.

Here at Biggers Mazda in Elgin, we know that thrill can turn into a disaster if your modern day family-mobile is trusting failing tires to safely transport your precious cargo. Although it is always best to have your tires inspected by a mechanic before you hit the road, there are several things you can do yourself to get an idea if your tires are in good shape:

  1. Check the Tread Wear Indicator Bar: Unlike the station wagon tires of yesterday, today’s tires have tread wear indicator bars built into the tires. When the tires are new the bars are invisible or barely visible, however, if one or two are visible, then the tread is getting low and it’s time to visit the mechanic.
  2. Conduct the Penny Test: Take an everyday Lincoln-head penny and insert Abe’s head (head-down) into the tread. If his entire head remains visible, then you don’t have enough tread. Tire tread should never fall below 1/16 of an inch.
  3. Pay Attention to Increased Vibration: An increase in tire vibration while driving can indicate an unbalanced tire or need for a wheel alignment, however, it can also indicate a problem with the tire itself. Too much shimmy shaking is a telltale sign of a need to visit a mechanic.
  4. Sidewall Cracking: Inspect your sidewalls for cracks that can be seen with the naked eye. If cracks are visible, you may by at risk of having a leak or blowout.
  5. Tire Bulges or Blisters: Inspect your tires for any bulging or blistering, as these are signs of the outer surface of the tire beginning to weaken. A weak spot can cause an unexpected blow out while the vehicle is in motion.

Schedule Service Today

If you have questions about the tires on your family vehicle or sense you might have a wobbly wheel, schedule an appointment today with a trained service technician here at Biggers Mazda. Offering competitive pricing and service that is done right the first time, we would be honored to assist you with creating a safe ride for your summer adventures.

Posted in Mazda Service