The concept of preventive maintenance is something that all vehicle owners ought to prioritize and practice consistently. This means minimizing any hazards and damage to the vehicle before they have a chance to occur or to get even worse.
Regularly checking the vehicle or having it inspected by an auto mechanic is a good start in practicing preventive maintenance. A typical car check-up involves the inspection of the engine, oil and other fluids, hoses, brake system, and other important systems and features.
And whether you are checking your vehicle on your own or letting a pro handle it, there are important components that need to be inspected thoroughly: the tires.
More importantly, regular tire check-ups will help prevent tire malfunction, which is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle traffic fatalities.
How to Know If You Need New Tires
There are five warning signs you need to look out for indicating that you may need to replace your tires.
1. The TPMS keeps lighting up
The Tire Pressure Monitoring System or TPMS is a feature that newer models (those produced after 2008) have. It alerts the driver when the tire pressure is too low.
If it lights up, it means one or more tires could be underinflated. This could lead to excessive tire wear and possible failure.
In case the light is on, you simply need to add some air to the tires. However, if it keeps lighting up, it is best to bring your car to a car service center. The mechanic will figure out which tire or tires are always underinflated and why.
Most of the time, constant low pressure is a sign of a bigger tire problem. The usually recommended solution is a replacement.
2. Recurring flats
It is not uncommon to get a flat tire once or twice; it doesn’t mean you need to go out and get a replacement immediately. However, if this happens every week, it is best to have your car checked by a professional.
This is because regular flats mean that your tires can’t seem to hold the proper amount of air. As such, they need to be replaced.
It would also be best to have your wheels or “rims” inspected. Frequent flats can also be caused by bent wheels or their failure to maintain the seal around the inner tire.
3. Noticeable tread wear
Monitor your tires for tread wear by doing the penny test.
Simply put a penny with Lincoln’s head upside down in between the tread blocks of the tire. If you can’t see the top of Lincoln’s head while it is inserted, it means the tread is above the legal or safety limit (typically 2/32 of an inch or 1.6mm).
However, if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you need to have the tire replaced.
Remember that the treads keep your vehicle planted on the road. As such, inspect your tire treads frequently. And don’t hesitate to replace them when the treads are worn.
4. Prezence of cracks
Due to their age and regular wear and tear, tires will develop cracks all around. They will often appear first on the sidewall of a tire.
Often, they initially appear as small cracks that shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Eventually, these cracks will become bigger and start to cover every surface of the tire.
If you notice that your tire already has plenty of large cracks, have it replaced immediately. If you don’t do this, you risk shredding the tire open, and this could be the cause of a serious road mishap.
To ensure your vehicle is always road-worthy, consider replacing a tire that has dozens of small cracks or any long or wide ones.
Providers of tire services in Dubai say that checking these parts at least once a month will help you avoid any tire-related issues that could cause sudden breakdowns.
5. Tire bumps or bulges
Bumps or bulges appear on a tire when its outer surface is starting to weaken. Additionally, these bumps or bulges can also indicate that there is a part of the belt inside them which has been broken or become warped.
Although these bumps are not life-threatening, they could still cause a tire to blow out suddenly. As such, be on the lookout for lumps on your tires. If a tire has too many bumps and bulges, visit a mechanic to have it changed.
Your tires are important safety features on your vehicle. It is, therefore, crucial that you check them regularly. And if you see any of these warning signs, bring your vehicle to a trusted auto service center without delay.