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worn out tires

When are Your Tires Worn Out?

Many people out there know the signs to recognize when the point of no return has arrived and your car comes to an unceremonious half because of worn out tires. At that stage, for many, not much more can be done than to call for emergency assistance to tow them out of whichever San Jose kerb their car managed to crawl towards.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to use a professional, reliable and safe methodology to test when the car tires are on their way to becoming worn out, before it happens? Wouldn’t it just! Read on to learn how to make a diagnosis in enough time before an accident happens…

MEASURE THEM: The most failsafe way to test the safety of your car tires and to see if they are worn out is to measure them. The primary function of tire tread is to improve traction on wet roads. They can’t do this if the tread is down to 1.6mm or a 1/16th of an inch. This measurement indicates that they are no longer safe.

LOOK AT THEM: Another really reliable method of judging the wear on the tires’ tread is by examining their tread wear bars, which are on all U.S (and other countries) tires. They are little bridges between each tire tread – take a look. On healthy tires, you should see adjoining bars forming between the treads or across the tires. On tires that need changing, the bars will become level, indicating the right time to change the tires.

PENNY TEST: This is a very handy way to objectively test the tires. A penny is always the same thickness! Take a U.S. penny and put it upside-down, with Lincoln facing at the center of the tread, in the thickest part of the tire.  The rules are:

  • If you can see the very top of Lincoln’s head or the copper above it, you need to replace the tires NOW.
  • If Lincoln’s hair on the top of his head is partly visible, replace them soon.
  • If you cannot see the hair on the top of Lincoln’s head (if the coin is inserted enough that the tire tread is at least as deep as Lincoln’s forehead), they don’t need to be replaced just yet, but check again in 4-6 weeks.