3 Signs You May Need New Tires
If you’re like most drivers, you probably don’t think much about your tires until one of them goes flat! However, driving on worn tires presents some dangerous (and potentially expensive risks). That’s why Rent-A-Center makes new, brand-name tires available and accessible to you with flexible payment options! Stay ahead of problems by learning to identify these three signs that you may need new tires.
What If You Never Change Your Tires?
If you think you can get away with never getting new tires, think again. Driving on worn tires presents risks to your car’s performance, your budget, and your safety on the road.
- Your tires may not pass state-mandated inspections. This may prevent you from getting insurance and a registration sticker, potentially increasing your risks for traffic tickets and other penalties.
- Your tires may wear out or become dry-rotted, which will make them more susceptible to flats — or worse, high-speed blowouts.
- Your tires’ traction and performance features will deteriorate, which can lead to increased risk of tail-spins, hydro-planing, and poor maneuvering overall.
The tires are the only part of your car that “hit the road,” so it’s unsurprising that they impact almost every aspect of your driving experience! Therefore, it’s hard to compile a comprehensive list of ALL the potential dangers of not changing your tires. However, one thing is for sure — the risks are definitely not worth the reward.
Signs It’s Time to Change Your Tires
1. Low or uneven tread depth.
Your tire treads are the patch of rubber that makes contact with the road. Depending on the type of tires you have, they may have different “tread designs” — grooves, sipes, and edges engineered to support your vehicle’s performance. “Tread depth” is the vertical measurement between the bottom of a tread groove to the top of the tread.
In the U.S., many states require a minimum tread depth of 2/32 of an inch, states automotive education site, Drivers Prep. You can gauge if your tires have proper tread depth by performing a penny test: Insert a penny into the tire’s grooves with Lincoln’s head down, if you can see the top of Abe’s head, getting your tires changed (or at least inspected) is a good idea.
In states with harsher winters or rainy seasons, it’s often encouraged that you perform the quarter test instead of the penny test. If you can see the top of Washington’s head, it may be time to get your tires inspected and replaced.
Pro tip: Whether you decide on the penny or quarter test, make sure you check the tread depth on different spots around each tire to give you a more comprehensive picture of how worn your tires are and if they are wearing evenly.
2. Bulging or blistering sidewalls.
The sidewall is exactly what it sounds like — the side of the tire where you can see symbols detailing its brand, speed rating, size, and type. If you’ve ever checked your tires after hitting a curb or pothole, you likely noticed scrapes and paint scratches on the sidewall.
If you notice the side of your tires starts bulging or “bubbling up,” your best bet is to replace them ASAP! Blistering of the sidewalls typically occurs when there’s damage to the tire’s inner shell — which exponentially increases your risks of a blowout.
3. Poor vehicle handling.
Worn tires can negatively affect your vehicle’s performance on the road — making you feel “clumsy” as you try to steer through tight turns or drive at highway speeds. If you feel your steering wheel vibrate or shake, a problem with your tires may be to blame.
Typically, this issue can crop up due to poor alignment, which can be easily serviced, or due to uneven tread wear, which may require a new set of tires. Either way, it’s best to take a closer look at your tires if you notice things getting shaky!
Get Ahead with Rent-to-Own Tires
Don’t wait for tire problems to arise before replacing yours! Kelley Blue Book reports that most car manufacturers recommend getting tire replacements every 25,000-50,000 miles or more frequently depending on the conditions you drive in.
Check your owner’s manual, and stay vigilant of the signs that you need new tires to ensure you’re doing the right thing for your car, your passengers, and your wallet! And if you need new tires at affordable prices, don’t compromise on quality — Rent-A-Center offers tires from some of the best-known brands in the business including Michelin, General Tire, Cooper Tires, and Ironman Tires!
Visit your nearest Rent-A-Center and for a free tire check or, if needed, for rent-to-own tires that fit your car, truck, or SUV, with installation included! No credit needed**.