When to Replace Tires

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 74,576
    Are your tires road ready? Learn when to know if it’s time for some new treads.

    John Nielsen: Hi! I am John Nielsen with AAA. Today we are here at Action Gator Tire in Central Florida talking about buying and maintaining your tires. In this segment, we are going to talk specifically about when to replace a tire.

    As tires start to wear, their performance starts to decrease. Specifically, they get less traction in the rain, in snow, and ice. So we want to be able to determine when a tire is wearing and catch it before it gets so worn out that it no longer provides safe performance.

    In much of the country, we have a lot of rain in the summertime. You would want to consider your tire condition and replacing your tire early before the rainy season starts.

    In the same sense, in the Northeast United States, also up along the Great Lakes and through the Midwest, we see snow in the winter, and it's a great time to check your tires early, September, October, and start making a decision to replace your tires then rather than waiting till the middle of the snowy season when you have lost the advantage of that great traction with newer tires.

    The first thing that we need to do on a regular basis is to make sure that our tires are properly inflated, and while we are checking that inflation monthly, we want to take a look at the tread depth.

    When the tread depth falls below 3/32nds of an inch, we know that it's definitely time to replace it. Now what we can do is use a quarter, we insert it with Washington's head down. If Washington's head does not go down inside of the tread as you see here, it's time to replace the tire.

    Now let me give you some advice. Rather than waiting till your tire gets all the way down there, it might be a good time to replace your tire as season changes.

    If you find your tire may have 4 or 5/32nds of an inch and you are coming up on winter, that's a great time to replace your tire because that extra tread, the new tires are going to help get you through that season well.

    A couple of other things we want to make sure we look for in the tire is how the tread is wearing? If you see uneven tread wear, where maybe the inside of the tire is wearing out, where the outside is not. It's time to replace the tire and it's also time to figure out what's wrong. Is it alignment? Are the tires out of balance? That's really important.

    Failure to take action when a tire starts to wear really is going to put your vehicle at risk and those inside the vehicle at risk. You can reduce stopping distances by 20, 30, 40 even 50% as a tire wears. So we want to make sure that we are safe.

    In the next segment, we will go into how you replace a tire, what to look for, and key information on selecting the right tire for your vehicle.