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How to Know When You Need New Tires

Need New Tires in Springfield, MO?

Your tires are incredibly important to keep your vehicle safe as you drive around the roads in Springfield. Discover how to tell if you need new tires, and why it’s so critical. Once you know if you need tires, call MTS Express to have it completed right at your home, rather than trying to get to a tire shop.


Why New Tires Tread Depth Is Important

The tread on your car provides friction against the road. This friction helps provide both handling and braking control as you drive. The specific tread patterns on your tires determines how it handles in certain conditions, such as on wet or icy roads. The less tread depth, the less friction it creates on the road surface, increasing your braking distance and the risk of hydroplaning.

You may not notice much of a difference with low tread depth in dry conditions. However, in wet conditions, the lower tread depth channels less water away from the road surface. It’s the layer of water between the road and tire that leads to hydroplaning.


Legal and Ideal Tread Depth

Most of the country, including Missouri, require at least 2/32 in of tread to operate legally on the roads. However, according to Consumer Reports, you should consider shopping for new tires when your tread depth reaches 4/32 in.

This recommendation comes from the vast testing they have done, finding that the stopping power in a tire significantly decreases in that additional 2/32 in. This means that you’re at a significantly higher risk of losing traction if you wait until your tread depth is down to 2/32 in.


Measure Tread With a Penny

You can easily check the tread depth of your tires as long as you have a penny in your pocket or car coin tray. Rotate the penny upside down and insert it into the channel between treads. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you’re under 2/32 in of tread left.

Check each of the channels across the tire to look for uneven wear. If any one of the channels shows low tread depth, you’ll experience changes in your handling and braking.


Using a Tread Depth Gauge

A depth gauge is readily available at any local auto parts store, and even some hardware stores. This is a specifically calibrated tool that pushes a small probe into the tread channel. To use it, extend the probe all the way down, then insert it into the tread channel.

Gently push down until the gauge wings rest on the tread. Then you simply look at the gauge to see the reading. Most gauges are also color-coded so that you can easily tell if your tires are safe. You’ll see green when it’s safe, yellow when it’s starting to get low, and red when you need to mount new tires.


Check Your Tread Wear Indicator

If you don’t have a penny or a tread depth gauge, you can look at the tire itself. Federal regulations require tire manufacturers to put wear bars in the channels at a depth of 2/32 in. If your tread is even with the wear bar, you need new tires as quickly as possible.


Other Factors Requiring New Tires

While tread is the primary factor you’ll use to determine when you require new tires, it’s not the only factor. Keep an eye on your air pressure, if your tire won’t hold its pressure, it may need a replacement.

If you notice the cords anywhere on your tire, it’s frighteningly close to a catastrophic failure. Additionally, if you have damage on the sidewall of the wire, that risks the tire failing.

Don’t waste your time trying to get into a tire shop in Springfield. MTS Express comes to your home or office to install your new tires while you continue your normal routine. Call (417) 986-1234 to schedule your tire replacement appointment today.

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