Tire safety is an important responsibility of a vehicle owner. Getting your tires changed on time protects you, occupants in other vehicles, and pedestrians. But if you're unsure whether your tire is due for a change in Daphne, Alabama, this guide has everything you need to confidently recognize when one needs swapping out.

Why It's Important to Get Your Tires Changed

Tires are a critical part of a car, truck, or SUV's safety systems. Regular tire changes help them operate at their best, so it's important to stay on top of yours. Benefits of getting your tires changed for a new set include:

Maintaining Better Grip

The most obvious perk of a new set of tires is the improved tread condition, which reinforces grip when you're driving in inclement weather. That said, overused tires affect handling even on a sunny day. Increased grip grants you better control over your vehicle and keeps you and others on the surrounding road safer.

Avoiding Blowouts

Replacing worn-out tires can make you safer as it minimizes the risk of tires blowing out. As tires age, they weaken through use and natural wear. Their deterioration can increase their susceptibility to a blowout, which is often dangerous, especially at high speed.

Improving Fuel Efficiency 

There's a financial benefit to replacing your worn tires with a new set. More grip on the road improves fuel economy, as tasks like cornering and braking will be done more efficiently. Burning less fuel on each trip means fewer stops at the gas station.

Adjusting to the Seasons 

Alabama may not be known for harsh winters. But if you're taking your car, truck, or SUV on a vacation north, you can benefit from swapping your current tires out for a set of winter tires. Seasonal tires optimize grip and control in wintry weather conditions. Fitting your vehicle with snow tires before heading to a cold-weather location can improve your control, even if conditions are less than ideal.

Warning Signs That It May Be Time to Change Your Tires
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Image via Flickr under CC BY 2.0 by Mike Mozart

Knowing when to change your tires can be a challenge. Here are some signs to look out for that may indicate it's time to schedule a tire change:

Tires Look Bare

Tire tread wearing down is a strong indicator you should buy a new set. Most manufacturers recommend at least 4/32 inches of tread, with an absolute minimum of 2/32. You can easily test this with your pocket change by placing a penny upside down for a 2/32 test or a quarter upside down in the tread for a 4/32 test. If your tread does not obscure the top of the president's head, it does not meet that recommended minimum level. 

Steel Is Exposed 

Modern tires include steel wire or bands within the rubber to provide additional stability and support. But as your tires wear, this can show. So, any exposed metallic sheen on your tires is proof they're critically worn down. We strongly recommend you call for a tow immediately you see this sheen.

Tires Have Uneven Wear 

Although your vehicle uses all of its tires when driving, it doesn't do so equally, which can lead to uneven tread separation patterns. Regular tire rotations can ensure your tires wear more evenly. Regardless, if any tire has disintegrated to the point of needing replacement, we recommend you swap out your whole set with new ones.

Tires Showing Cracks

Another visual indicator to look out for is cracks in the rubber of your tires. Age and interactions with potentially harsh chemicals (like road treatments) can weaken the rubber, eventually forming cracks, which are a sign you need a new set.

Tires Skidding When Stopping or Starting

The way your car handles is a decent measure of tire quality. Frequent skidding at stops or when accelerating from a standstill might be a symptom of tires that are past their usefulness.

Tires Louder Than Usual

You can use your ears to assess the condition of your tires. As tires wear down, they can increase their points of contact with the road and, as a result, produce more noise per revolution.

Tires Can't Keep Pressure

Some loss of pressure can occur naturally in a tire, increasing the rate you refill at a pressurized air system. But if you have a slow leak in a tire that leads to more frequent trips to refill, then you should look for a replacement.

Car Has Passed Mileage Rating

New tires usually come with a recommended mileage rating. As you near this level, you should be prepared to seek new options. Changing them at this point might be the safest option for everyone.

Tires Are Old

Just as the mileage age of your tires is important, so too is their actual age. Manufacturers stamp each tire with a four-digit number, which represents the week and year of their manufacture. It's generally advisable to change out your tires approximately every six years or every 10 years at most.

Tameron Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat Is Baldwin County's Best Automotive Service Center

Cameron Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat is proud to be Daphne's number one automotive service center. Our team of trained professionals can help you determine if you need new tires. We can also find you new tires in Baldwin County and install them for you safely and professionally. If you're ready for a tire change, you can schedule an appointment with us today. For further questions, feel free to contact us, and a member of our staff will answer them for you as soon as possible.

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