While you are driving, you may not give much thought to your vehicle's tires until they become flat or suffer from a blowout. However, periodically, you should inspect their condition to help prevent either of those scenarios from happening. While you are looking at your tires, look for the following signs that they are no longer safe to drive on and should be replaced right away.
1. Smooth Patches Are Present on the Tread
When you go to look at your tires, look at the tread first to see if the ridges are still present. When the ridges of the tread are still in good condition, they ensure that your car keeps constant friction with the road so that the tires hold on to the pavement.
However, the tread can eventually wear down after a while, which can create smooth patches on the tread. When this happens, these areas no longer create enough friction to hold onto the pavement, making it more likely that you could slide, especially during wet weather or going around a sharp turn.
While you are looking at the smooth areas, also take note of where they are located. If the edges of the tires are worn down, your vehicle may be out of alignment and causing extra weight on the edges.
2. Bulges Appear in the Sidewalls
After looking at the tread, turn your attention towards the sidewalls of the tires. Unlike the tread, these areas of the tires are constructed from thinner rubber but should be smooth and rigid, as they help to hold up the tires and keep their shape.
If you see any bulging areas on one of the sidewalls, however, it is no longer safe to drive upon. More than likely, a tiny hole or tear exists somewhere in the surface of the sidewall, allowing either moisture or air to become caught beneath the surface.
Because this surface rubber is thin, it cannot contain the extra pressure, which leads to bulging. This greatly weakens the tires and makes it more likely that they will blowout while you are driving down the road.
If you find either of the signs above while inspecting your tires, you should replace them as soon as possible, as they are no longer safe for you to drive on them. Take your vehicle to a shop that sells tires so that you can discuss your options for purchasing a replacement set.
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