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5 Ways to Tell if You Need New Tires

Not sure when to replace your tires? To keep your treads in tip-top shape, check your tires regularly and pay attention to the following:

1. Treadwear

The average tire begins with 10/32" of tread. In most states, the law requires that tires be replaced when the tread depth wears to 2/32". Check your tread depth monthly to make sure your tires aren’t worn out.

2. Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is very important. Tires should always be filled to your vehicle’s recommended PSI to reduce the chance of an accident or a blowout. If you’re unsure about the proper PSI, consult your owner’s manual or reference the sticker with that information on your door jamb.

3. Cracking

If you notice cracks or gouges in your sidewall, your tire may be slowly leaking, or worse — rotting. Tires get old, and degradation is only natural over time given the harsh conditions they repeatedly endure. That said, if you see cracking on a tire that's only a few years old, the cause could be a manufacturing defect. Either way, it’s best to take it to your dealership right away. A small crack might seem like no big deal, but as the structural integrity of the tire worsens, the risk of a blowout increases.

4. Temperature

Cold weather causes tires to lose pressure. Extremely warm temperatures can result in excessive heat buildup. Underinflated tires generate more heat and wear out faster, so be sure to give your tires the air and care they need during winter and summertime.

5. Vibration

If you feel a vibration in your steering wheel or if your vehicle seems to shake on smooth roads, your tires may be out of balance. Unbalanced tires wear out much faster than they normally would, and can also weaken wheel bearings and shorten the life of a suspension system. It is recommended you have your tires rebalanced at least once during their life span to help extend their run on your vehicle.

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