Two Things To Know About Your Vehicle's Tires

Are you in the market to put replacement tires on your vehicle, but you don't know much about them? Here are the basics of tires that every vehicle owner needs to know.

Tread Depth

A good way to tell if you need new tires is to check the tread depth. This helps tell you how much tread is left on your tires, which can indicate if it is really time for a replacement. A common rule is that the tread across the entire tire must be no less than 2/32" in depth. This means checking the tread in multiple places to find out where it is worn down the most. 

There are two ways that you can easily measure the tread depth on your tire. You can buy a tread depth gauge, which will get you the exact measurements of the tire. The other option is to use a penny and stick it into the tread with Lincoln's head going into the tire tread. If Lincon's head is completely showing then you have less than 2/32" of tread left. 

However, be aware that 2/32" of tread is not that much. If you actually see how deep 2/32" of tread is you may not feel so comfortable driving on a tire that is so worn down. While many state laws do not allow driving a car with so little tire tread, you may want to get new tires before you reach this point due to safety concerns. 

Tire Size

Every tire is going to have a very specific size on it, which is a series of three numbers. For example, your tire may have a size of 205/60/R14. The first number is for the width of the tire in millimeters, the second number is the width of the sidewall in millimeters, and the third number is the rim diameter in inches. 

Should you simply just buy the same size tire that is on your vehicle? Not necessarily. If you bought a used vehicle, you don't know if the previous owner purchased the right tire and you may be driving around with incorrectly sized tires. Your vehicle should have a sticker on the inside of a door, typically on the driver's side door, that has the manufacturer's recommended tire size. It will even tell you what the spare tire size is, since it's smaller than the normal tires. 

Reach out to a tire shop for more information about buying new tires.