How to Tell When to Replace the Tires on Your Car or Truck


The tires on any vehicle will eventually wear out, and sometimes it can be hard to tell when they need replacing. If the tire has some damage to it, it is clear that a tire repair shop will need to fix or replace it, but knowing when to change the tires on your car because of wear can sometimes be more challenging. 

Tread Depth

In general, tires leave the factory and arrive at the tire repair shop with around ten or eleven-thirty seconds of an inch of tread on them. The depth can vary a little by brand, but the tread is deep and will grip the road, shed water, and provide a good ride for the vehicle in this condition. 

Over time, the rubber tire begins to wear, and the tread starts to lose depth until it stops being effective at all the things it is designed to do. Often you will notice the tires having a hard time maintaining traction on wet roads, and the handling may begin to suffer due to the tread loss.

Once the tread depth drops to two thirty seconds of an inch, you need to replace the tires because the tread can no longer do its job. The tire may not have any holes or worn spots on it, but the ability to shed water and provide traction will no longer be there, and stopping on a wet road can be extremely difficult.

Most tires in the US have a small set of wear indicators molded into the space between the tread ribs, so once the tire tread wears to those indicators, the tire needs replacement. You can also have a tire repair shop measure the treat for you if you suspect the tread is getting thin and the tires need replacing.

Abnormal Wear

Anytime the tires on your car start to develop strange wear patterns on the tread, you should have your vehicle alignment checked at a tire repair shop that offers alignments. The wear can cause one side of the tire tread to wear very quickly, while the other does not. The handling of the car can change significantly due to the uneven wear on the tires. In extreme cases, this condition can worsen until the edge of the tread wears into the tire's sidewall, creating an unsafe situation.

The vehicle's wheel alignment can be the underlying cause of the tire wear, but if the tires are worn abnormally and thin along the edges or in the center of the tread, it is vital to have a tire repair shop replace the tires and align the car.  

If you replace the tires without the alignment, the condition will likely worsen, and the new tires will also wear abnormally and need replacing much sooner than they usually would. Contact wheel alignment services for further assistance. 


15 December 2021

Keep Your Vehicle Safe

Hello. My name’s Samuel Jacobs. I retired from my job as an auto mechanic last year. During my years as a mechanic, I had the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. Some have remained friends to this day. When I was working, there is one thing that I came across at least weekly. That is how uneducated people are when it comes to their vehicle’s tires. Properly cared for tires are crucial to the safety of your vehicle. Without them, your car isn’t going anywhere. If they give out on you while you are driving, there is the potential for serious injury. I’m going to share some tire safety information here. Things like the importance of correct inflation, how to check the tread, when to replace tires, tire rotation, and what to do in case of a blow-out. I hope you find this information to be helpful.