Image: morguefile.comTires are something on your car that you never really give much thought to until problems show up like a sudden flat tire or a very shaky ride. It shouldn’t have to get go to these stages before you buy new tires, but this sometimes happens.

To prevent a possible dangerous situation for you and your passengers here are some tried and true warning signs that indicate you need new tires on your car.
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Worn Tread

Industry experts say that the minimum amount of tread you can drive on safely should be at least 1/16 of an inch (1.116 millimeters) thick. Anything below these figures means your tires are worn and you need to replace them soon.

You can buy a fancy tire tread measuring device from your auto parts store for $5-$10 or more, but all you need is penny to do this for you.

Insert the penny with Lincoln’s head facing down or towards the tread. If his head is covered by the tread, you’re A-OK. If his head shows, you need to replace your tires.

Watch for Lines

Some tires now have an early warning system built right into the tire tread. There are indicator bars or lines that run all the way around the tire. When the tread starts to wear thin, these indicator lines show up. If one or more of these show, your tires are in need of replacement.

This system works the same way as using a penny to gauge visually the condition of your tires, but now you won’t even need a penny to do it!

Sidewall Condition

If you’ve ever seen an old tire on an old car you may have seen cracks or weathered looking rubber on the sidewalls. If these are apparent on your tires, it’s time to be careful as this is an important sign that your tires may be in a dangerous state.

The cracks and weathering on sidewalls can mean that the tires may be developing a leak, or even are on the verge of blowing out. If you see a condition like this on your tires, replace them quickly.

Blisters and Bubbles

If your tires are beginning to seriously wear thin around the sidewalls or tread, this may present a condition where a blister or bulge starts to form at these locations. This means that the tires are becoming so thin that the air pressure from inside the tire is causing these spots to bulge outward.

This is especially dangerous if you are planning to do some freeway driving because tires in this condition can blow out at any time. Replace these tires as fast as you can, or get a tow to your nearest service auto center to change them out.

Excess Vibration

Depending on the type of road you are driving on, you’ll always experience some sort of vibration through the tires; this is normal.

But if you start to notice that your tires are vibrating strongly no matter what type of road you are driving on, this may mean several things such as tires being in misalignment, shock absorbers being worn out, or a suspension problem.

And of course, this may mean your tires are defective, unbalanced, or tracking improperly on the road. If you even notice excessive road vibration while driving, it’s time to visit your mechanic to check this out.

Source: howstuffworks

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