Tires are one of the most important parts of any vehicle. Without them, your car turns into a lawn ornament, so it’s critical that you maintain the condition of your car tires all year long. Bad tires can have a number of ill side effects, from annoying noises to a dangerous disintegration. So, if you’re not sure if you need a change, here are signs your car needs new tires.

The car tires make excessive road noise

Worn out tires are often loud tires, so if you can hear the “wha-wha-wha” of yours rolling down the road, chances are you’ll need a new set. Loud tires are usually caused by poor pressure distribution from a broken belt, or a “feathered” tread pattern from a bad alignment. Whenever you’re dealing with bad tires, you’ll always want to have your steering angles inspected as well.

The car tires perform poorly in the rain

As tires wear down, the tread pattern will get smoother and smoother. This will typically lead to less than adequate water displacement that can cause hydroplaning. If your car feels less secure or simply skittish in the wet, you should have them inspected to see how worn the grooves in your tires are.

The car tires make the ride feel rough

As tires age, they break down and can often become stiffer than normal. This leads to a rougher ride that will tend to get rougher as speeds increase. If it feels like you’re suddenly riding on a covered wagon instead of a modern car, you might need a new set of tires.

The car tires leak constantly

This should be pretty obvious as a bad tire will often leak, leaving you to find a flat each and every morning. However, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions and replace the tire without also inspecting the rim. Damaged wheels can cause leaks even if the tire is new.

Visually inspect car tires for imperfections

Tires take a beating, so it’s wise to visually inspect yours as often as you can. If you see any wear bars on the side, protruding metal bands, or bumps in the sidewall, you’ll need a new set as quickly as possible.

If you have questions about your tires or aren't sure which set to buy, contact a professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to rotate your tires and help you pick the right new set for your vehicle.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Signs You Need New Car Tires and was authored by Logan Utsman.


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