Tires are an important safety feature of your car because they help you stop quickly and absorb impacts. If your tires are old, you need to replace them before they turn into a safety hazard. Here are fives signs that you need new tires:

1. Low tread

Low tire tread can severely affect your ability to stop in time. Your tires need plenty of tread for traction, especially on slippery surfaces. To check your tread, the classic penny test works. Simply stick a penny upside down in one of the tracks beside your tread. Make sure Lincoln's head is facing you. If you can see the top of his head, you need new tires.

2. Pressure loss

You should be checking your tire pressure at least monthly. A loss of 2–3 PSI in one tire over a month is totally normal and results from natural osmosis. However, if you're losing 2–3 PSI per week, take your tires for an inspection at your local mechanic. Depending on the cause of pressure loss, you may need new tires. Here are the common causes of pressure loss:

  • a nail or object embedded in the track
  • a small hole that is typically undetectable (Your mechanic will use a special technique to find the hole.)
  • bad valve stem
  • cracks or breaks in the rubber

3. Visual imperfections

Often, you can tell if you need new tires just by performing a visual inspection. As the rubber wears, cracks, splits, and bubbles will begin to appear. You may also notice the grooves between the tread appear wider and deeper. Also, look for grooves in the sidewall. These grooves indicate uneven wear.

4. Vibrations

Is your car giving you a rough ride? There may be many causes of this, but old tires are a common culprit. If you notice vibrations, especially coming from a tire, get your tires inspected. You may also notice larger jolts and bounces when going over bumps or potholes. This indicates that the rubber has worn down to the point it can't absorb shock.

5. Increased stopping distance

As the tread and rubber decreases, you will notice an increase in the stopping distance. Your tires lose traction and it takes your car longer to brake. If your brakes are fine, the increase in stopping distance may be due to old tires. You may also notice your car slips more in rain, snow, or on wet patches.

These are five signs you need new tires. If you notice any of these issues make an appointment with a mechanic or tire dealer today, such as Euro-Tire.