Buying tires isn’t the sexiest part of vehicle ownership, but it is one of the most important ways to maintain your safety on the road and get you where you want to go. If you think you might be due for new tires, don’t panic—while they can be an expensive purchase, there are ways to save money and still equip your car with reliable tires.
What to Know Before Replacing Tires
How to tell if your tires actually need to be replaced
Replacing your tires can get expensive, so make sure you actually need to do it! There are 4 common ways to tell it’s time to replace your tires:
- They’re expired. Yes, it’s true—tires can actually go bad! In most cases, tires can last up to 6 years, but it all depends on the circumstances. Even if you don’t drive the vehicle often, you should still replace the tires at least every 10 years.
You can find the age of a tire by looking at the 16-digit ID number on the sidewall. It will start with DOT (Department of Transportation) and end with a four digit number. For instance, if the last four digits are 1220, the tire was manufactured in the 12th week of 2020. You can also use this ID to look up the tires on the manufacturer’s website.
- They’re bald. Use the penny test to see how much tread is left on the tires. Simply take a penny and insert it into the tread, with Abe’s head down. If the treads are touching Abe’s head, you’re good. If not, the tires are too worn down and need to be replaced.
- There’s a visible defect. This one is simple; if you see a nail or other object imbedded in the tire, it’s going to need to be repaired at the very least, and probably replaced.
- The tread wear indicators are sounding off. Many newer tires have wear indicators to let you know when to replace your tires. Once they are exposed by wear and tear, they will make a grinding or humming sound when changing lanes.
What type of tires are right for your vehicle and driving conditions
When selecting replacement tires, it’s important to take into account the type of driving you typically do; do you frequently drive in snow? Do you plan to take the vehicle off road? Are you looking for better handling or durability?
It’s also crucially important to make sure you’re buying the correct size and type of tires for your vehicle. Refer to your owners manual to see what the manufacturer’s recommendation is so you can buy the correct type.
Where to buy tires
You can purchase tires from a tire shop or dealership, but that can get expensive. Fortunately, if you’re looking for DIY options, you can also purchase used tires from an auto salvage yard like U Wrench It!
We have a huge selection of quality used auto parts, so check out our inventory online or come see us.