All tires wear out eventually & damage unfortunately happens. The important
thing is to quickly determine if your tires are safe to drive on, in need of
service, or need to be replaced. Here are some simple ways to tell if you need
to buy new tires:
Your Tire Is Damaged
There is a good chance that your tire can be repaired if:
1. The tire has not been driven on when flat
2. The damage is only on the tread section of your tire
3. The puncture is less than 1/4 inch
Have an authorized tire dealer or mechanic remove the tire from the wheel &
inspect the tire from the inside. This inspection is absolutely necessary
because internal damage is not visible while the tire is mounted.
The proper way to have a tire repaired is to patch the tire from the inside. If
you are offered a plug repair--refuse! Plug repairs do not involve taking the
tire off the wheel for a proper inspection. A plug is simply inserted into the
punctured area. Plug repairs are not reliable & can cause the tire to blowout.
Insist on a full inspection & patch repair on the inside of the tire.
Your Tire Is Worn
It's a good idea to check your tires once a month for visible damage & excess
wear. There are two ways to tell if your tires are worn out:
- Look for wear bars
These are narrow bands that appear in the grooves across the tread of the tire.
When the wear bars are even with the tread depth, only 2/32-inch of tread
remains. If you can see the wear bars, it's time to replace the tire.
- The Penny Trick
The other way to tell if the tread is worn out, is to place a penny into the
most shallow tread groove with Lincoln's head down. If the top of his head
remains visible, then the tire should be replaced.