Know Your Tires by Josh Gough, Legacy Automotive Owner

Buying the right tires for your vehicle can be a weary process. Tires that fit poorly are hazardous to your safety and the life of your vehicle. Getting tires that fit correctly requires just a little bit of knowledge on fit, tread depth, and value for your money. Good tires contribute to your safety by giving you a better performance which makes your car drive better and helps when starting or stopping. Our goal in this blog post is to help you feel confident and informed when making affordable decisions for your vehicle!

Luckily for tires, they are not as complex as the engine or transmission components in your vehicle. Since they are on the exterior, tires are easily accessible and a clear indication of a problem related to their function.

Perhaps the most common question when it comes to tire replacement is when to replace them. How do you know your tires are bad? How often should you check for wear and tear? The easy way to know if your tires are bad in terms of tread depth is the penny test: Place Lincoln head-first into the tread. If you can see the top of his head, then you need new tires.

(Why is rotating your tires important? Regular rotation allows your tires to wear evenly, giving them an overall longer life!)

This is a great reason to find a mechanic shop you like and then frequent it when you need an oil change or other maintenance. They will get to know your car while you get to know and trust them to work on your car honestly and with fair estimates.

If you do live in a cold climate with snow, should you get snow tires or all season?  That depends. If you live or drive a lot in the mountains, you might want to invest in snow tires. However, they would need to be changed in the summer back to all season or summer tires. Are all season tires worth it if you can’t get snow tires? Absolutely. Just check that tread when the snow comes!

Can you get a ticket for a bad tires? Yes, you can!  If you are in a wreck and your tread depth is 2/32 or less you can easily be ticketed. Mountain states such as Colorado have traction laws as well. You can read up on those traction laws here

If you have just one bad tire, can you just get one new one? In some circumstances, yes. On AWD vehicles, you will most likely get a whole new set. If you drive a FWD or a RWD you may be OK to just change one. However, go to your trusted mechanic shop for their recommendation before making a tire purchase.

We’ll end this blog post with an important concern from many vehicle owners: how can you be sure you are getting a good value on tires? Always use a full-service shop over a chain store, even if they are cheaper. Ask the shop if they have a mechanic that specializes in tire repair/replacement. Ask the shop if they have a Road Force Tire Balancer and Alignment Equipment. You can even get the name of the specific brand of equipment they use and research it later. A good shop will know their equipment and be able to tell you right away what they use.


If you have more questions about tires, feel free to fill out our contact form and we will answer your questions as soon as possible! Our goal at Legacy Automotive is to help car owners make the best decisions for your vehicle, your safety, and your wallet.