How often you drive your car during college depends on where you’re living. Some students drive to and from campus, while others simply have to walk from the dorms to class, saving the car for extracurricular activities. Whichever way you use your car at school, there’s one key commonality: You need to be aware of the maintenance your car requires, such as replacing tires. If you don’t keep an eye on your tires well enough, you run the risk of damaging your car and experiencing a blowout. However, if you can see the signs you need to buy new tires, then you can maintain a safe, functioning car on and around campus.
Your Tires Have Gone Bald
Yes, even your tires can go bald. If you look at your tire, you’ll see ridges that stretch around it, which are “treads.” Your treads can endure a lot of damage over time—so much so that after enough time, you may notice that instead of being covered in treads, your tires look smooth. This is what’s known as a bald tire, and it’s incredibly dangerous to drive on.
No treads mean that your car won’t brake as well, and your overall vehicle control will significantly drop. There are many dangers that worn tires bring to a car and its driver, which is why you must fix them immediately.
Your Tires Exceed Their Tread Wear Warranty
Your car tires have what’s known as “tread wear warranty,” which maps out a guaranteed lifespan of your tires. It’s information you need to have when buying your car, but if you have a car that’s been passed down by a family member, see if they have this information. Even if your tires seem fine, you should take them in and replace them after they’ve been on your car beyond the tread wear warranty date.
Your Tires Develop Cracks, Punctures, or Bulges
The most obvious signs you need to buy new tires are cracks, punctures, and bulges. The dangers of driving with these hazards should be self-explanatory, such as blowouts and loss of control, as well as potential damage to the car beyond the tires. If you see any damage like this on your tire, take your car in immediately to have all of your tires replaced. It’s understandable to only want to replace the broken tire, but you should replace them all to ensure consistent wear and performance.
Car maintenance isn’t always a fun activity, but it’s a necessary part of keeping your car useful and, most importantly, safe. These rules for replacing tires are key guidelines that all drivers should abide by. Even if you rarely use your car during the school week and primarily drive on the weekends, you can’t assume you’re exempt from this maintenance. As long as you stay on schedule with your tire upkeep, the process of doing it will become a breeze.