Signs Your Car Needs New Tires: A Guide For Beginner Drivers

Posted on: 9 November 2016

Car maintenance can seem a bit overwhelming when you're new to driving! Aside from oil changes, the other big maintenance factor you'll need to worry about is changing your tires. Tires can last anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 miles. Clearly, this is a big range, so you'll need to keep a close eye on your tires to be sure you replace them when needed. Here are three signs your tires need to be replaced.

You're not getting good traction around the corners.

Since your tires wear out slowly, you don't always notice when your car gets harder and harder to handle over time. But the next time you go around a corner, pay close attention to how your car handles. Can you comfortably hold the wheel in position and push the gas to get around the corner, or do you find yourself "being careful" and taking your time around the corner? If you're cornering carefully because your car feels like it's going to slide on the pavement, then you probably need new tires.

They're worn past the wear bars.

Most tires have what is called wear bars. These are little pieces of rubber that are woven into the tire tread at a specific depth. They go across the general groove of the tire. Take a close look at your tire, and see if you can locate any wear bars. If they are present, observe whether the tire tread is worn down to the top of the wear bars. When the wear does reach the bars, it's time for a tire replacement.

If your tires do not have wear bars, you can rely on an old trick to test the tread depth. Place a penny inside the tread with Lincoln's head pointed down. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head over the tread, your tires are too worn and should be replaced.

You feel vibrations when driving.

There are many possible reasons why your car might vibrate while you drive. However, if you know your tires are aging and you feel some vibrations, there's a good chance these vibrations indicate that the tires are worn unevenly and in need or replacement. Your mechanic may be able to rotate the tires and get a few more miles out of them if they're predominantly worn on one side, but you should still count on a tire replacement being just around the corner. Check out a tire store like Discount Tire Centers when you're ready to replace your tires.