Your tires, as a set, are one of those things you probably don’t give much thought to. Unless, of course, something goes wrong with your tires. Then they will suddenly be all you think about.
To prevent a tire emergency, it’s vital that you can identify signs of serious tire damage. When you can recognize this damage, you’ll be able to know when your car’s not safe to drive, avoiding a potential accident in the process. To help make you more aware, here are four signs of tire damage that mean you shouldn’t drive on them.
If you notice cracks anywhere on your tires, it’s important to have it towed to have the tires replaced as soon as possible. Cracks are usually indicative of rubber that has dried out to the point that it is separating from itself. This is caused by age, overinflating the tires, exposure to weather, and a variety of other factors. The risk is that the tire may separate completely, leading to a blowout that could cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
The tread on a new tire appears to be a mesmerizing design thought up by some type of abstract artist. In reality, a tire’s tread is a scientific marvel, as each groove and notch is necessary to help divert moisture away from the tire to help you maintain traction in wet conditions.
When the tread gets low, therefore, you put yourself at great risk if you drive your vehicle, especially in wet driving conditions. Try this: if you put a penny in one of the grooves and you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, then don’t even think about driving your vehicle.
Sometimes, there is a large enough puncture in your tire that you can actually hear the air rushing out. If this is true of your tire, you definitely shouldn’t drive your vehicle, even if there are tire dealers nearby, as the tire will probably be flat before you’re able to make it even a few miles down the road. Sudden air loss could be caused by a failed valve stem or by damage due to striking a piece of debris.
If you notice a roaring sound when you’re traveling at high speeds, it’s time to stop driving your vehicle until you can have your tires repaired. In many cases, this sound is caused by a lack of tire pressure, which causes too much of the surface of the tire to come into contact with the road. As the tire rolls along the road, the normal amount of road noise is amplified, leading to the roaring noise in the cabin. If your tires normally have adequate air pressure, it’s likely you have a leak of some kind that needs to be repaired.
Your tires are an absolutely crucial part of your safety on the road. If you suspect that you have a problem with one or more of your tires, don’t risk driving on them. Instead, wait for your roadside assistance provider to get to your location, inspect your tires, and let you know what the problem is and if it’s safe to drive your vehicle.