What condition are your tires in? At Stuart Rolfe Muffler & Auto Service in Midlotian, VA, we want to make sure you can tell if your tires are in good condition or ready to be replaced. A simple visual inspection is all you need - it’s easy if you know what to look for. Our technicians have been trained to identify trouble before it hurts your vehicle, but they can also help you understand how to keep your eyes open for serious issues.
Bald Tread - Bald tires are the most obvious indicator you need your tires replaced, and one you probably know when you see. If you’re to the point where they’re completely bald, you’ve already gone too far. Your tread depth should be greater than 2/32 of an inch. The penny test is a common way to gauge this - if you put a penny into the tread upside down, Lincoln’s head should be partially obscured. On many tires, there’s a bar built into the tread as well, which indicates when the tread is too low, saving you the inconvenience of searching for a penny.
Bald Tread, Only in Certain Places - If the tread is bald only in certain areas on the tire, it can more easily go unnoticed. Sometimes a tire will wear only in a line down the middle, only on the outsides, or only on the inside edge of the tire. The latter is the most pervasive since it’s hard to see when the car is parked - the outer tread may still look brand new, while the inner tread is close to wearing through completely.
Dry Rot - Dry rot occurs when tires get too old, especially if they sit for an extended period of time or are exposed to direct sunlight for too long. Dry rotted tires can have great looking tread but will have a sort of oxidized, rough appearance. These tires are at risk of failure since they are weakened and can come apart.
Knots/Broken Bands - Knots or broken bands are a result of the inner radial cords failing for one reason or another. Sometimes a knot is obvious - you’ll see a lump on the sidewall of the tire. Other times they aren’t visually apparent, because they’re small or hidden on the inner side of the tire. Band breakage is pervasive as well - if you run your hands over the surface of the tire, you might feel dips, knots, or waves. The rubber could be externally in great shape, but the tire is still faulty.
Road Damage - Damage from rocks, screws, debris, curbs, etc. can ruin a tire. If a large chunk is taken out of the rubber, something is stuck in the tire, or other damage has occurred, you’re better off replacing it now before it blows out. Some of these conditions indicate issues with your car, truck, or SUV as well.
Knowing what to look for in your tires to determine if they are ready to be replaced or not is essential to keeping your vehicle in safe driving condition. At Stuart Rolfe Muffler & Auto Service in Midlotian, VA we can help keep you and your tires safely on the road. Call or stop by today if you have any questions about your tires or if you're ready to upgrade the ones on your vehicle.
Thank you for visiting Stuart Rolfe Muffler & Auto Service in Midlothian, VA. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.