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How to Tell if You Need New Tires on Your Car

How to Tell if You Need New Tires on Your Car

One, two, three, four! Rev up your engines! It’s time for the Scotty Kilmer Channel. Today I’m going to help you answer the question,
do you really need to buy new tires, Now unfortunately, you can’t just go to a
tire store and ask, half the time they are salesmen,
they want to sell you something, so of course they are going to tell you that
you need new tires, so I’m going to show you how you can check
tires out yourself, and the first thing you need, is a shinny
new penny, simply take the penny upside down and put
Lincoln’s head in the tire tread, and as you can see right here,
Lincoln’s head is pretty well cover up, now in that case, the tread was about this
deep, which was pretty deep, but if the top of Lincoln’s
head would have been sticking up, and it’s about that thick, that’s about the
time you need to get new tires, and when you do check the tire,
you look all around to make sure the whole tire is deep,
because if you have some area that is really shallow and others are deep,
the tire needs to be replaced, and the front end needs to be checked to see if there is
something wearing to make the tire wear unevenly, now other than just straight wear, your going
to look for cracks in the tire, now this particular tire is about 10 years
old, so it’s time for it to be replaced,
because it’s just getting old and cracking, and yeah I know, it’s my car and my tire,
but here’s the reason I’ve left it on, this old tire, it may be 10 years old, but
I never had to add air to it, I’ve had to add air to the newer tires, that
are only a year old, every once in a while, but I’ve never had to add it here,
just go to show that they use to make things better than they do now,
and since I drive in the city most of the time, and only put about 900 miles a year
on my car, I just left it alone, but if I was going to
take a big trip like to California or something, I’d buy a new tire here because I wouldn’t
want it to blow on the highway from being cracked and then come apart,
so if your like me, and you don’t drive that much and your tires are old, if your tires
are 6 or 7 years old, you might take a look and see if they are
cracking, and if they are, go get a new set of tires,
so you don’t endanger yourself at highway speeds,
the of course the question arises, if you need new tires,
which tires should you buy, we as a general rule of thumb,
I go to a discount tire store, and I look at the tires there,
never buy the cheapest tires, because they are often Chinese made one that aren’t that
good, so being the cheap guy like I am,
I buy the second or third cheapest tire, and then that perfectly good for what I’m
doing, just normal city driving and I don’t put that many miles on them anyways, they
dry rot before they wear out, now if your planning or racing around on a
performance car, you want to get performance tires,
you want ones that are stickier, have more grip, there going to wear out faster,
but you need something that can handle higher speeds,
because if your going to be driving well over 100 miles per hour,
you want a better rated tire to take that speed,
in that case, you might want a higher performance tire like this tire,
but whatever brand you buy, I say stay away from Chinese made tires,
when this tire was one week old, it got a hole in it that had to be plugged,
and these are Chinese made tires, they are often just too soft, nails get in,
and they easily get punctured, and years ago, I mistakenly got a set of Chinese
tires for my wife’s big Toyota Cressida, if 2 years, they all got ate around, and the
car started shaking, and when I jacked the car up, and spun the
tires, they all had big lumps in them they were so
junky, so stay away from the Chinese tires,
and when it comes to maintaining your tires, there’s only one thing you really need to
do, check the air pressure every once in a while,
because if your low on air pressure, not only will you get worse gas mileage, from
more rolling resistance, but your more likely to get punctures on the
tire when they have less air pressure in them, and remember, tires get hot when you drive
them, so the pressure goes up from the heat,
so you want to check the pressure in your tires first thing in the morning,
when the tires are cold, and when the weather changes, like here it
just went from 75 to 35, check them when it’s 35 because they often need a little extra
air then, so the next time somebody tells you, you need
a new set of tires, check them out first before you give away
that money, and remember if your car has any problems
just visit the Scotty Kilmer Channel, before it’s too late

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100 thoughts on “How to Tell if You Need New Tires on Your Car

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    Things I used in this video:
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  2. Unless a Name Brand company manufactures a tire in China like Cooper's RS3-G1 Tires, don't trust any tire made in china. Hell even Kumho's that are made in South Korea are still Garbage.

  3. Tires are "officially" worn out after 5 years even if very little mileage. My Michelin winter tires have shifting belts and are pulling badly but they are probably 10 years old. It's too bad because they still have half their tread depth.

  4. We have an old 80 dodge ram that we use for hauling water for the garden and other stuff, use it about once a month on average. It had 35 year old tires on it, nearly bald and quite hard, but we didn't care. This year, 2 of them got big cracks in em. They were leaking air so fast you could hear it, and find it by feeling the rush of air. So we bought some tires from a second hand shop. XD

  5. 1.8 mm height on treads

    also if your treadwear is uneven it is not your tires you should get changed but you will need a steering alignment by a mechanic

  6. I am using the 10 year old winter tyres from the Car I bought 3 months ago, as my summer tyres and at 100° they're perfect and until now, they didn't loose any air. I have a digital pressure gauge and I only lost 1 PSI at each tyre, but that's probalby due the fact, that I measure air pressure once a month. As you said, things were made better at that time.

  7. If you get Wal-Mart tires (Douglas) they’re made at a Goodyear plant (research it) and they are pretty dang cheap and

  8. Scotty, you have become my go to guy for auto info. Thanks. Btw, you remind me of one of my dads old friends.

  9. This rule might apply to people living in the United States or other western countries with similar weather but it doesn't in a tropical climate with a mix of heavy rain and plenty of sun from time to time. The humidity and heat heavily wears the tyres a lot more faster than they do over there. Generally the tyres here (depending on treadwear, mileage etc) on average lasts about 2 to 3 years give or take.

  10. I always by the best tires with the highest customer and pro reviews. You can make an old car ride much better. Penny wise, pound foolish.

  11. I also find another big problem is heat wear. Cars left Outdoors get subjected to extreme heat changes from hot to cold. These wide variations in the amount of heat the tires are exposed to causes the rubber to harden over time and tires with hardened rubber just don't have the same grip even if the tire tread is still excellent. There's an easy way to test for this:

    When your tires are new, add a little app to your smartphone that measures decibels and check the decibel level in your car on a good road at say 50 to 60 miles an hour. This will tell you what the decibel level should be for tires that are in good shape and will give you the best grip.

    Now after you've had the tires for a year, check the decibel level again on the same road surface at the same speed. What you're looking for is a significant decibel increase inside the cabin. A few decibels is not a big deal. But once the decibel level has gone up anywhere from 8 to 15 decibels from what it was when the tires were new, well that means that the tires have hardened and it's time to get new tires, regardless of what the tread looks like. Now it could take anywhere from five to seven years for really good tires to harden to less than 4 years for cheaper tires to harden. The greater the temperature extremes are in a given year will also contribute more to the tires hardening or less if the year has been mild pretty much throughout the year. This is an important thing to keep in mind if you are driving a lot on wet surfaces or on slick surfaces in snow or sleet conditions. Thanks for letting me contribute.

  12. Hello Scotty, I’ve got a set of 4 year old tires with 25000 miles that are showing cracks in between tread. Nothing on the side walls. Should I be worried of a blowout or are they just superficial? Thanks for your time and patience .

  13. My tires are Chinese made tires and I had them for 7 years and they’re still fine. Not all Chinese made goods are bad and not all American ones are good! In fact, I don’t think there is not much difference between American made goods and Chinese made goods in a lot of stuff that we buy. People’s main complaints of China had more to do with politics and racism than anything else.

  14. I recently was told 8 years and it's best to replace them, especially California I think sunlight dries out the tires. I agree with Scotty if your'e just driving surface streets it's not a big deal, but don't take chances out on the highway.

  15. I took my car to firestone for an inspection and right away he told me I needed new tires, they aren’t even a year old .-.

  16. Hey Scotty! Happy Thanksgiving!
    Can you do a video on tire manufacture date four digit code?
    I just learned they have a shelf life and expiration too of about 6yrs.
    All the best to you, I rang that bell and appreciate all you do.
    Thanks again

  17. dont know what you deal with chinese tire, but these days, some the higher end tire are also made in china. you get what you pay for doesn't matter where its made.

  18. I am Chinese. We have good tires. If you always go to the cheapest one, of course you will get worse performance…Why do some people just do not understand this extremely simple thing…It is impossible that you pay less and you still get the same performance. In addition, some of the expensive tires are also made in China. I do not know why people always have bias on us…Maybe the us media? It may be political right to say bad things about China…

  19. I just went to the mechanic to have my tires filled with air and he was giving me a hard time. According to my sensors it stated low air tire pressure. He was lazy and didn’t want to do it. I told him if he didn’t do it I’d do it myself. He said with the cold weather we are having you will have low tire pressure temporarily. It’s supposed to warm up the following week. Okay then fill’er up! He looked at me like I was crazy and wanted me to wait till the weather was warmer.

  20. What about the manufacture date code, Scotty? You gotta' tell em' about how customers can get a decade old tire, thinking that it's brand new.

  21. ok, so I check my tires first thing in the morning, lets say it's 65-70 deg.
    The side of the tire says max pressure 44 psi. and my tires read 44 psi.
    Looks good, ok. So then later in the day it gets up to 90 deg and I get on the fwy.
    What psi should I have in tires before I go for a 100 mi drive on the fwy?
    I have had tires blow out 2 times on the fwy from over inflation.

  22. Just stumbled on your video because I’m not sure if I need new tires. I live in jersey and drive a 2010 Nissan Pathfiner. When we had that big snow storm, my car was the only car that was skidding on the road. Whenever I braked, my brakes would lock and I would skid. Even if I braked VERY lightly I still couldn’t control my car. Do you think it’s my tires or something else? Will have to use the penny trick later. Im still young so I don’t know much about cars

  23. Although my car is only 10000 Km distance used but My front wheel on the left side has ballooning , It happened once one year ago at 5000 so I replaced it and put the new one at the back, now again a new small balloon started to appear, what is the cause of these balloons ?

  24. Thank you, Scotty, based on your information, I brought a set of Douglas tires from Walmart. From the name, I know they were made in the US.

  25. I bought Nokian studded tyres from Finland. I'm really pleased with them. Now I'm going to try their all season tyres. I'm in Canada though.

  26. I wouldn't burn rubber for 2 reasons
    1. doing it on the STREET, the penalties for reckless driving TODAY are excessive
    2. there's what, 4 crappy cv joints back there on the stang, & on modern camaros & chally's, unlike the classic ones that have a stout SOLID rear axle – especially the 9 inch & 12 bolts.

  27. Scotty’s the type of guy to make a last resort to just slip that last joke outta his mouth when the teacher tells the class to be quiet

  28. I wonder if need to rotate my tires if the 2 front tires are new with 9k miles and the rear tires are very old with maybe 40-50k

  29. Hey scotty, what's a good tire replacement on 08 altima. I have michelin and they dry rot on the inside walls. What u recommend?

  30. Scotty, thank you. I have a question. The sales people always said to rotate and put the best tires or the two new ones on the back. However, all my friends mention that when you buy only two, put the new ones in the front. What should be the right thing to do?

  31. Don’t forget to check the DOT numbers if you can. The DOT number is a long serial number kind of thing with four numbers at the end. e.g. 4517 That means the tire was made in the 45th week of 2017. Usually tires should be replaced when they’re around six years old. So a tire with the numbers 2512 (25th week of 2012) should probably be replaced.

  32. Tires have a manufacture date stamped on the side. The usual recommendation is they should not be used beyond 6 years old regardless the tread depth.

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