If you have noticed a bumping or vibrating sensation while driving down the road and have older tires, you may wonder if the tires have something wrong with them. If so, look for the following signs that your car's tires are no longer safe to drive on.
Cracks in the Sidewall
One thing to look for when trying to determine whether you should continue driving on your tires is cracks in their sidewalls. The sidewall of a tire takes on a lot of stress, as it holds the brunt of your car's weight while staying firm and vertical.
However, if you see cracks in the sidewalls, the rubber has started to deteriorate, either from constant exposure to direct sunlight or an under-inflated tired. If the cracks are not too deep, you can probably safely make it to your nearest tire shop to have the affected tires replaced.
If the cracks are deep, however, you should have someone drive you and leave the car at home. Deep cracks signify extreme damage, and you run the risk of having a blowout.
Bubble Found Anywhere on Your Tire
Bubbles are another type of damage that signal that your tires are no longer safe. The cause of the bubbles depends on where they are located.
If the bubble is found on the tread, the tire probably has a broken steel belt, which supports the structure of the rubber. Because the rubber is no longer fully supported, the air pressure pushes out on the tread, creating a bubble. You may be able to drive a short distance before having the bad tire changed.
However, if the bubble is located on the sidewall of a tire, do not drive on it. A sidewall bubble indicates that the rubber has weakened and thinned to the point that it could bust under the slightest of pressure and movement.
Presence of Any Silver on the Tread
Another sign that you should not be driving on your tires is the presence of anything silver-colored on the tread of your tires. If you see any silver spots, you may have picked up a nail or screw that has punctured the tire.
However, if you see silver streaks, these are the steel belts that should never be seen. If the tread has worn down to the point that you can see the supporting structures, it is dangerous to drive on the tires.
If you find any of the above signs while inspecting your car's tires, they are no longer safe to drive on and should be replaced. Speak with a representative at a tire shop so they can help you find the correct size and the ideal type of tire that fits your everyday needs.