Keeping your tires in safe, working condition is critical for the safety of you and your passengers. Old tires do not grip the road properly, and when it’s wet outside, or you need to stop suddenly, less-than-perfect tread can put you in danger. Not to mention, old tires can wreck your gas mileage, not only putting a burden on your vehicle, but on your bank account, too. If you know you need to change your tires at regular intervals, but you just aren’t sure when to do it, the experts at AA Auto Tech can help. Below, we detail what to look for when you think it might be time for a new set of tires.


The Penny Test

The penny test is a go-to method for determining the extent of your tires’ tread. Perhaps you’ve heard of testing your tires with a penny, but if you haven’t, here’s how to do it:


●        Place a penny into various tread grooves across the surface of your tires. Make sure Lincoln’s head is upside down and facing toward you.

●        Take a close look at the penny; if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires are worn and must be replaced.

●        If your tread partially covers Lincoln’s head, you likely have more than 2/32 inch of tread depth, meaning you aren’t in desperate need of new tires.


You may notice that not all of your tires have the same tread depth, which can occur as a result of several factors. If you notice this phenomenon, it’s a good idea to replace your tires and adhere to their recommended maintenance schedule.


Uneven Tread Depth

Tires wear unevenly for many reasons. Misalignment, incorrect tire pressure, worn suspension components, and infrequent rotations can all contribute to uneven tread depth. Not only is uneven tread depth dangerous, but it can also affect the way your car rides. As your tires wear unevenly, the balance of your vehicle changes. Driving around with unbalanced tires can put unnecessary stress on your wheel bearings, shocks, and wheel assembly, potentially causing damage. All tires sold in the United States have wear indicators known as tread bars. If the tire tread sits flush with these bars, it’s time to change your tire.


Brittle, Worn, or Cracked Rubber

Worn or cracked rubber on the surface of your tires is a surefire sign it’s time for replacements. Visible wearing or cracking typically occurs when your tire is well beyond its suggested lifespan. Cracks in the sidewall of your tires may also be indicative of a much more dangerous issue known as dry rot. Dry rot typically occurs as a result of infrequent use, underinflation, UV radiation, chemicals, ozone, and major temperature fluctuations. If you suspect dry rot and fail to replace your tires, continuing to drive your vehicle may result in dangerous leaks, holes, and even blowouts.


Tire Repair and Replacement Experts

If you think it may be time for new tires, bring your vehicle to the automotive experts at AA Auto Tech in Hastings, Minnesota. Our knowledgeable and experienced technicians can recommend the appropriate tires for your vehicle while offering tips to keep your new tires in tip-top shape. Whether you need new snow or all-season tires, or just need a new set of summer wheels, we’ve got the products you need and the experience to match. If you have questions about your tires or would like to schedule a service appointment, contact us at (651) 437-2218.