Your tires withstand a constant and significant amount of pressure and friction each and every day, no matter how far or fast you drive. Over time, tires will naturally wear down due to this constant friction and pressure, which can then lead to a number of safety risks, including a flat or blown out tire, as well as reduced performance of your vehicle. Knowing what some of the biggest warning signs of worn out tires are can help you figure out when you need to head to a tire dealer to have a new set installed or the current set checked out.
One of the largest and easiest to spot warning signs of tires that have reached, or are about to reach, the end of their lifespan is if you can spot cracks and other forms of physical damage on the sidewall of the tire itself. Cracks, even spiderweb cracks that appear superficial, represent wear, damage and brittleness in the rubber of your tire – which can happen due to age and constant use, making an air leak or blowout much more likely. Avoid driving on cracked tires as much as possible, and talk to a tire services company as soon as you can.
Another clear sign that your tires need to be replaced is if you can spot air bubbles forming on the tread or along the sidewall. These air bubbles will occur where the strength of the rubber has weakened, forcing the air pressure within the tire outwards. Just like cracks, these are leaks and blowouts waiting to happen, and your tires should be replaced immediately.
Rattling and Shaking
Any sort of vibrations that come up from your tires can point to several issues. More often than not, shaking while driving can be attributed to improperly balanced tires – which means that your tires are pointing away from each other, thus pulling on your vehicle's suspension system and wearing themselves down at a faster rate. Your balance can be adjusted fairly quickly to address this problem. However, keep in mind that vehicle shaking can also be caused by uneven or irregular wear of your tire's treads. If you look at your tires and one edge of the tread seems to be severely worn down compared to the rest, your tires are likely suffering from another issue that will need to be addressed – and depending on the severity of the uneven wear, you may have to rotate or even replace your tires entirely.