When Do I Need To Change My Tires?

Tire Tread

Though tires can be an afterthought, they are the critical contact point between your car and the road. Properly-inflated tires with plenty of tread increase fuel economy, and more importantly, might be the difference between avoiding trouble or running into it.

Car manufacturers now recommend replacing tires after 6 years. The composite material used to make your tire ages over time. As this material becomes compromised, the likelihood of blowouts and flats increases. This can be dangerous, especially if the blowout occurs at high speed.

How Do I Know How Old My Tires Are?

You can use the four-digit Department of Transportation (DOT) code on your tire wall to find out when the tire was manufactured. The first two numbers stand for the week in the year it was made, and the next two are for the year. For example, if your tire has “2516” printed on it, then it was manufactured in the 25th week of 2016.

It can be tricky to find the date code. Though it’s usually preceded by the initials DOT, there are sometimes other numbers and letters after DOT. Look for a set of four digits ending with two numbers that are recognizable as a year.

Don’t Tread Lightly

Of course, age isn’t the only reason to change your tires. The depth of the tread is also crucial. If you drive your car regularly, you will likely wear down the tread before your tires get too old. When you routinely stop and start quickly, drive in extreme temperatures, or on rough roads, your tires will show signs of wear even sooner.

Aside from giving you an uncomfortable ride, worn-down tires can cause you to slip on wet surfaces or might be the slim difference between a close call and an accident.

Here Comes The Change

A penny and quarter are your friends here. If you insert a penny into the tread and can see the top of Abe Lincoln’s head, you have less than 1/16th of an inch—less than the safe minimum to drive. When you use a quarter and see George Washington’s head, it means you have less than 1/8th of an inch of tread, which is more than the minimum safety standard but considered to be the time to start thinking about new rubber for your ride.

Treat Your Tires Right, and They’ll Treat You Right

In addition to taking it easy on the accelerator and brakes, proper tire maintenance can extend the lifespan of your tires. Be sure the air pressure is correct and stay up with tire rotations.

No matter how well you treat your tires, though, accidents happen. When they do, call the experts at Cline Collision Center. We are committed to integrity, honesty, safety, and craftsmanship. Whether you have major damage or need a quick fix to get you safely back on the road, choosing Cline Collision Center is no accident – contact us online or call 707-591-9909 today!

Ask George or Abe? How Much Tire Tread is Enough?

Maybe you’ve noticed. The cost of goods and services keeps going up. We’ve noticed, too. Though we do everything we can to keep prices down, there’s one area where inflation isn’t just acceptable. It’s preferable.

The tire tread test.

Close Up Of Tire Tread

We want you to be safe and avoid trouble as much as possible. This means having tires with plenty of tread on them. For years, the recommendation from automotive experts was to use a penny to check tire tread wear. The idea was to hold a penny so that you can see the front of it. With Abe Lincoln upside-down, go ahead and rest the penny in the tread grooves. If you can see honest Abe’s whole head, then you only have 1/16” or less of tread remaining.

For decades, this has been called the Penny Test and signified that it was the time to replace your tires. 

Automotive specialists have been rethinking that rule. It may not be enough in the most critical situations. You need more grip on the road when you have to come to a sudden stop on a rainy day. The latest research shows that on a slick road, 1/16” of an inch might not stop you until it is too late! That’s why we no longer advise you to use a penny.

It’ll cost you a quarter now!

Remember, George Washington didn’t lie about the cherry tree, and he certainly won’t lie about your tires. Run the same test with a quarter. If our first president’s whole head is visible, it means you have less than 1/8 of an inch—and it’s time to get a new set of tires.

Once you get your new tires, be sure to keep them properly inflated. Also, don’t forget to have them rotated every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. We want you and your tires to safely roll down the road for miles and miles.

This doesn’t always happen, though. If you run into trouble, or trouble runs into you, call Cline Collision Center. We will help you navigate insurance and are ASE-certified, with OEM certifications from NissanInfiniti, Fiat/Chrysler (FCA), Honda/AcuraFord, Hyundai, and Kia. We have earned Gold Class status from I-CAR, a designation that lets you know that everyone who touches your car is highly trained and understands new vehicle technologies and repairs. If you value integrity, honesty, safety, and craftsmanship, call 707-591-9909 or contact us online today!