How to Know When to Replace Your Tires

Toyota Tires Morristown

Good tires are essential to both your car’s performance and your safety. If your tires are worn out, you won’t have much traction, meaning it’ll be more difficult to control or stop your car–especially on rough roads or during storms. At our Livingston area Toyota service center, we recommend that drivers inspect their tires regularly to know when it’s time to replace them.

Tires without much tread left are referred to as “bald,” which doesn’t necessarily mean they’re as smooth as a cueball. Bald tires might appear to have a bit of tread on them, but they don’t have enough to ensure safety. 

Rather than eyeballing and guessing whether or not your tires have a safe amount of tread, there’ some reliable ways to verify. Tire tread depth gauges are cheap and can be bought at any auto parts store, but an even-cheaper option costs only $0.01.

Usually, 2/32” of tread is the very minimum of what’s considered safe. If you’ve got a penny, you can determine whether or not your tires have at least 2/32” of tread depth. Take the coin and place it between the treads, making sure that Abraham Lincoln’s head is pointed straight down at the surface of the tire. If any part of the sixteenth President’s head is blocked by the tire tread, then you’re good: You’ve got at least 2/32”. If Honest Abe’s hair is visible, though, it’s time to replace those tires.

But if it looks a little close, track down a quarter and repeat the exercise. If any part of George Washington’s head is covered by the tread, you’ve likely got at least 4/32” left and are good to go. If you’ve got Abe Lincoln covered on the penny but George Washington uncovered on the quarter, you’re between 2/32” and 4/32”, and it might be time to start shopping.

Tread depth isn’t the only thing to check. You should also inspect the sidewalls of the tires to make sure there are no signs of wear, tear, or deep scrapes that could threaten a blowout. Additionally, excessive cracking on the sidewalls or the treads can be a bad sign, so if you spot that, you should consider a new set sooner rather than later.

Replacement Tires near Livingston

To ensure accuracy, do those tests on all four wheels and in a few locations around each. You want to ensure each tire is in good shape, and that they’re all wearing in evenly. If you spot any reasons for concern, check out our Livingston area Toyota tire store for a great replacement set. We also offer occasional parts and tire specials to help you get the best deal possible.