How to Tell if you Need New Tires

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Time for new tires? If it is, you don’t want to put it off: tire failure due to old or worn-out tires can cause your car to go out of control, or lead to blow-outs that can be dangerous, not to mention inconvenient. To make sure your tires are in tip-top shape (or to determine if you need to replace them with new ones) here are some things to check:

How’s the tread? The tread on your tires should never fall below 1/16 of an inch in depth. You’re better off with twice that much if you frequently drive in icy, wet or slick conditions. Use the old “penny trick” to see how much tread you have on your tires. Take an average, everyday penny and insert Abraham Lincoln’s head into the tread, head-down. If Honest Abe’s whole head remains visible, you need new tires. You can also look at the tread wear indicator bars built right into newer tires. These bars are invisible or barely visible on new tires and gradually appear as the tread begins to wear down. If more than one or two of these bars are visible on your tires, it is time to check with your mechanic about purchasing a new set.

Cracks in the sidewall– Tires aren’t just about tread; your sidewalls are also a place where tire problems can crop up. Simply look at the sidewalls of all four tires and look for cuts, cracks or other grooves that are visible. This could be a sign of a developing leak or impending blowout. If you are able to see some cracks in your tires’ sidewalls, visit General Muffler & Auto Supply without delay to discuss tire replacement.

Bulges and blisters– The outer surface of your tires should be smooth and taut, but if it begins to weaken it will result in a bulge or blister that pops out from the rest of the surface. This can be a precursor to a blowout, much like the tire equivalent of an aneurysm. Get your car to a tire replacement specialist at your earliest possible convenience if you see a bulge or blister on your tire.

Not-So-Good Vibrations– If your tires are misaligned or unbalanced, they can cause an unusual amount of vibration as you drive. Vibration can also be an indicator of an internal problem in the tire, and it is in your best interest to get it checked out right away if you begin to experience a particularly bumpy ride.

If you are in need of a new set of tires, General Muffler and Auto Supply is here to serve you! If you are in the Ansonia, Derby, or Seymour, CT area and would like a consultation and new tire estimate from one of our trained specialists, come see us today. Schedule an appointment at 203-735-6406. Better safe than sorry!

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