penny test worn tire treads

5 Ways To Tell If You Need New Tires: Try the Penny Test

How can you tell if you need new tires? Tires are one of those important things that you don’t really think about much until something is wrong; kind of like the foundation of your house. However, it’s a good idea not to let potential problems with your tires develop if you can avoid it. Here’s one way to save money with coupons for Advance Auto, and 5 ways to tell whether you need new tires:

1.) Tire tread depth:

Madonna once said, “Get into the groove, boy you’ve got to prove your love to me,” and I believe she was referring to her tires. The tread on your tires should never be less than 1/16 of an inch, and if you are driving on wet surfaces, you should have closer to 1/8 on an inch.

The penny test: How can you measure the tread? One simple way is to put a penny between the treads, with Abe Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can still see all of Abe’s head, you honestly need new tires.

3:) Increased Vibration:

Cyndi Lauper once said, “I’ve been thinking of a new sensation, I’m picking up a good vibration. Oop, She bop!” Even though that song apparently alludes to female masturbation, it always reminds me of driving on worn tires. If you notice that your tires have gotten loud, or that your car shimmies when you drive, it might be that your tires need attention. That vibration could mean that your tires aren’t properly aligned or balanced. (Or, it could mean that you need to turn the bass down on your stereo while playing that Sir Mix-a-lot CD!)

tire cracked sidewalls4.) Cracked Sidewalls:

One of the more easy ways to tell whether you need new tires involves visual inspection of the sidewalls. If you see cracks developing cracks or grooves, it’s a good indication that your tires need replacing.

5.) A bulge or blisters on your tires:

If you see a bulge on the side of any of your tires, that’s the internal air pushing out on a weak spot. Get this taken care of immediately, as it might lead to a blowout.

tire wear indicator bars2.) Tread Wear Indicator Bars on tires:

For your convenience, many new tires include tread wear indicators in the form of little bars that appear as your tires get worn. As your automobile’s tires wear down, these little bars appear perpendicular to the actual tread of the tires, and can be seen in the wet tracks that your old tires leave after you drive through a puddle.

How many miles do tires usually last?

That’s an important question, and the quick answer is “between 40,000 and 80,000 miles.” Although tires get a lot better mileage than they used to, the answer still depends on a few important factors. First, tires are rated for tread life expectancy, and the better ones usually last longer.

Here are a few tips to extend the life of your tires:

  • Maintain recommended tire pressure, which may fluctuate seasonally (in winter tires often lose air pressure)
  • Rotate your tires every time you get an oil change
  • Don’t pair new tires with old or mismatched ones
  • Drive responsibly and watch out for pot holes, especially in late Winter!

If you’re still not sure, get the opinion of a someone from a trusted local service station or auto parts store. Although checking whether you need new tires isn’t one of the listed free services from Advance Auto Parts or AutoZone, one of their ASE certified professionals would be happy to give you their professional opinion as to whether you need new tires.

There same auto parts stores don’t usually sell actual tires, but you can get everything you need to maintain and repair your tires and wheels in-store or online. For the best price, be sure to use a coupon for a 30% discount (check out the featured promotional code above) or more!

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