Knowing how to check tires on your vehicle is an important ability. This is especially important if you go on long trips or you’ve just completed one. When you know how to check tires on your car, you’ll be able to tell when your tires need replacement or rotation. After you inspect your tires, you can take the proper action to ensure proper tire life and safety.
Although there are many components to total vehicle maintenance, none are more important than your tires. Because your tires are a wear item and what keeps you connected to the road, knowing how to check tires is essential. After you check tires on your car, you can tell whether or not you need to ;
- Buy replacement tires – If you don’t know how to check tires, chances are you won’t know when to replace them either. Knowing when to install a new or even used set of tires is important if you want to avoid a blowout.
- Get an alignment – Having your vehicle aligned is a big step towards proper vehicle maintenance. Without an alignment your tires won’t drive or wear evenly, which is a dangerous condition.
- Change your driving habits – If you enjoy driving aggressively or have a back road you like to drive hard on, knowing how to check tires can save your life.
To check tires on your vehicle, simply refer to the chart below to see what condition your tire is. You can take the proper action to remedy the problem or fix it from there.
How to Check Tires – What to do
Tires are worn on both edges – When you check tires and see that both inner and outer edges are prematurely worn, it’s a sign of under-inflation. Because your tires are sagging at speed, the outer and inner parts of your tire are wearing faster.
Center treads worn – When just the center of the tire seems to be worn down, you’ve over-inflated the tire in question. Because there’s too much air pressure the center of the tire makes up the bulk of your tire contact patch, which creates uneven wear.
Remedy – To fix either a under-inflated or over-inflated tire you will need a replacement tire and need to check your tire pressure.
Tires are worn on one edge – When your tires are worn on one edge, it’s a clear sign that your car alignment is out of whack. Left alone, it creates a serious safety condition that could result in a blowout. When you see cord showing on the inner part of your tire, it’s a sign your camber is not properly dialed in.
Remedy – Head to your local repair shop to get an alignment and to have your tires rotated if needed.
Uneven Wear on Tire – This can also be called feathering or tire spots, when you see bald spots or weird, uneven wear on your tires. This is caused by poor wheel balance, and it’s also a seriously dangerous driving condition.
Remedy – Have your wheels balanced professionally, and replace the bad tire in question. It also wouldn’t hurt to have an alignment done to check your toe or caster.
Bald Spots – There’s nothing more unsettling than going to check tires on your car and seeing a bunch of bald spots. These are caused by a mixture of poor wheel balance or worn shocks. You may also feel a thudding sensation at high speed.
Remedy – Head to your local alignment shop to have your replacement tires installed and a new alignment set for your vehicle.
Wear on Front of Tire Only – Most common for vehicles that are being driven too fast or with improper suspension setup. When you check tires and see that the front of your tires are worn excessively, you need to slow down a bit.
Aggressive driving and hard braking can cause your vehicle to “dive” or dip it’s nose forward. When you combine this with high speed turns, the front of your tires can wear fast.
Remedy – Slow down a bit or upgrade your suspension to improve body roll and pitch.
Tires wear unevenly – You can check tires simply by running your hands over them to see if they are wearing unevenly. If you feel as though your tires are wearing like a saw, meaning high and low spots, you need an alignment.
When you have an incorrect toe or caster setting in your static alignment, it can cause your tires to wear unevenly. This rough and up and down wear can create a high speed shimmy or other dangerous conditions.
Low Speed Tire Squeal – This is most often noticed in a parking structure or your parking garage. When you hear your tires squeal during low speed maneuvering and turning in a garage, you need an alignment.
It’s a sign that your tires are being dragged instead of rolling, which can be a combination of bad camber, caster or toe.
Remedy – Have the offending tires replaced, and then get yourself to an alignment shop right away.
These are just a handful of the reasons why you need to check tires regularly on your car. Have you recently gone to check tires and see a problem that’s not on our list? Leave us a comment below and let us know!