Replacing tires incurs high costs for motorists. High-end brands can cost drivers hundreds of dollars per tire. When should you buy new tires? How can you help maintain your current set?
The Penny Test
The easiest way to test for excessive wear on a tire requires only the use of a penny. This test is used to determine the depth of the tire treads. These treads help displace water on the road.
Just approach each tire and place the penny with Lincoln’s head on each groove.
If the top of Lincoln’s head is not visible while it is in the groove, then your tire is still in good shape and there is no need to shop for new tires.
However, if the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, this then indicates the affected tires are beginning to wear, and new replacement tires are necessary.
We’ve previously detailed how to maintain tires during the cold weather months. Some of those tips we’ve shared apply (such as regularly checking and maintaining the tire pressure). But there are other steps drivers can take to help extend the life of their tires.
Tire alignments should be scheduled only after certain instances such as an accident or after running over an object that damages your tire. Even though a motorist may not have been in an accident or damaged their tires, there is still an easy way to check if an alignment is necessary.
Briefly remove your hands from the steering wheel while driving. If the vehicle pulls to one side, then an alignment is necessary.
Aligning your tires after getting a new set installed is another way to help extend the life of the tires.
Rotating your tires after every oil change will allow for even wear on each tire. In general, the front tires tend to wear down more than the rear tires. Properly-timed tire rotations can go a long way toward extending the life of your tires.
Buying New Tires
If your tires are showing signs of excessive wear, then buying a new set is in order. There are plenty of big-name brands available such as Michelin, Birdgestone, Goodyear, Firestone and Continental. However, with the tire models for these big brands usually come with a big price.
There are smaller and lesser-known brands that can still provide the same level of performance at up to half the cost of their competitors.
You can check TireRack’s website for recommendations of tire models for your specific vehicle.
Tire care can be a costly expense for drivers. But with the proper maintenance at the right time, car owners can minimize the cost of replacing their worn set of tires with a new, expensive replacement.
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