Have you ever wondered why there is tread on your car tires? The purpose of the tread is to eliminate water from the underside of the tire in order to improve traction and decrease the change of hydroplaning. If your tread has become worn, it is important to have your tires replaced immediately for the sake of your safety.
If you suspect that your tires are worn, take a look at the tread pattern. There should be something called tread wear bars on your tires. These flat, rubber bars form a bridge between the tread grooves and are nearly invisible on new tires. Gradually over time as the tires wear down, these bars become more apparent. When the bars and the tread are at the same level, it’s time to replace your tires.
You can also quickly check the tread depth of your tires by using a simple technique called the “penny test.” Grab a penny and stick Abe Lincoln’s head into the center groove of the tire tread. Can you see still see the top of his head? If so, you’re tires are worn and it’s time to replace them. If his hair is covered by the tread, you still have sufficient tread.
Even if your treads don’t look like they are in bad shape, it is still important to check them for any inconsistencies such as uneven wear or irregularities. Excessive wear on the center tread indicates that your tires are inflated too much whereas excessive wear on the shoulders of the tires indicates that your tires are under inflated. Uneven wear on the treads or having one side of the tire more worn than the other could be an indication of misaligned wheels or an incorrect camber angle.