7 warning signs you need new tires

DodgeA Dodge Challenger Hellcat.
  • Most drivers seldom spend much time thinking about the health of their tires. However, tires play an integral role in the safety and performance of our cars.
  • There are a handful of indicators that tell drivers it’s time for new tires including uneven tire wear, cracked rubber, and low tread.
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Most drivers seldom spend much time thinking about the health of their tires. The fact that our tires are so often overlooked is most unfortunate. Tires play an integral role in the safety and performance of our cars.

Maintaining proper tire pressure and tire health can drastically improve handling and braking performance. According to Edmunds.com senior consumer advice editor Ron Montoya, drivers should check their tire pressure at least once a month.

Read more: 12 things you should keep in your car at all times in case of a disaster.

“A lot of people just wait until the (tire pressure monitor) light to come on,” Montoya said. “That’s not when you should be replacing the air in your tires. At that point, it’s actually a little too late and it’s an emergency situation.”

But there will come a time when you will need to replace the tires on your car. Here are seven signs that it’s time to for new tires.

Falling air pressure


If your tire is losing air pressure. That could be a sign of a small leak. You could either have the patched or replaced.

Low tire tread.

Charles Knowles/ShutterstockThe penny test.

Naturally, when the tread on your tires gets too low, it’s time for fresh rubber. An easy way to see if your tread is too low in the US is the penny test. Place a penny in the grooves between the treads on your tires with Lincoln’s pointing down. If you can still see the top of Lincoln’s head, then the tread is too shallow and new tires are in order.

Uneven tire tread wear

You Touch Pix of EuToch/Shutterstock

There will be instances where the tread on a tire wears off at different rates. Sometimes, parts of a tire can look perfectly fine while other parts are worn downs to the cords. Uneven tire wear can be the result of improperly inflated tires, misaligned wheels or even damaged suspension parts.

Odd vibrations or noise.

Getty Images

Weird or excessive noise and vibrations coming from your tires even on smooth roads could be an indicator of a myriad of issues ranging from worn suspension parts to poor wheel alignment to improperly inflated tires. Regardless, it’s a sign something is wrong with your car and you should probably have your car looked at by a mechanic. The issue causing the vibration may have damaged the tire or caused uneven tread wear which means they may have to be replaced.

Bubble on the side


Sometimes bubbles can develop on the sides or even on the threads of tires. The bubbles can be caused by production defects but can also be the result of air getting in between the various internal layers of the tire. Either way, it’s time for a new tire.

Cracked rubber

You Touch Pix of EuToch/Shutterstock

If the rubber in your tires has cracked, it’s time for new tires. Cracks are a sign that the rubber has degraded that can be due to age or improper use.

Old tires.


If you’ve owned a car a long time and the tires haven’t been changed, it’s probably time for a fresh set even if they look like there’s plenty of tread left. According to Firestone, most vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing your tires every six years while tire manufacturers recommend a fresh set after 10 years.

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