Your vehicle's tires are subjected to a great deal of stress, both from their constant contact with the road and the fact that they have to support the entirety of your car's weight. This means that over time your tires will begin to physically degrade and wear away, which can make the risk of a flat tire or sudden blowout much higher – a serious safety concern. Fortunately, there are a few simple warning signs of tire wear that you can keep an eye out for to determine when you should talk to an auto repair professional about having your current set replaced.
Physical Damage and Irregularities
The most obvious sign that tire replacement is necessary for the wellbeing of your vehicle is if you can see any forms of physical damage on the tires themselves. It doesn't matter if it's located on the sidewall or directly on the tread: any sort of gouging or cracking, even if it seems superficial, point to a weakening in the structure of your tires and an increased risk of leaking or blowing out. Seeking auto repair services early could save your life.
Another clear indication that your tires are due for a replacement which is a little harder to determine is the actual depth of the tires' treads. Most modern tires have wear bars incorporated directly into the tread: these are bars of rubber that run perpendicular to the rest of the tread, but they aren't visible until the rest of the tire has worn down by a significant amount. Inspect your tires: if you see bars running against the grain of the rest of your tread, and they are fairly close to level with the tread itself, your tire is severely worn. Not only are blowouts, punctures and flats more likely to occur, but treads that are that worn will have reduced grip in poor weather conditions, which can make slipping and sliding more likely as well.
Vibrations While Driving
Another indication of excessive wear, especially excessive uneven wear, is if you notice that shaking originates from your tires while driving – especially when traveling at higher speeds over smooth surfaces. Again, this is because of poor grip with the road due to excessive wear to the treads, and can make an accident much more likely by reducing the amount of control that you have while driving at higher speeds. However, such vibrations can also be caused by suspension issues, so you should inspect your tires for signs of wear and damage to determine the exact cause of the problem if you experience vibrations while driving.