Brakes and Tires: How to Tell When It’s Time to Switch


Your tires are where your vehicle meets the road. They’re some of the most important elements of your car–without them, you can’t go anywhere! Your brakes are high on the list of “critical elements,” too. If your brakes don’t function properly, you can’t stop your vehicle. That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on your tires and brakes and regularly update them.

Here are the telltale signs that it’s time to get new tires or brakes. Keeping your vehicle maintained is the key to keeping it out of the repair shop!

Check Your Tires

Your tires should possess 10/32″ tread when new, and you need to replace them if they get down to only 3/32″. You might need new tires sooner than that if you often drive on snowy or slick roads! The easiest way to check this is with a tire tread gauge, but not everyone possesses this kind of tool. 

You can check your tread using a penny instead of a tread gauge. Place the coin in the shallowest tread on your tire upside down and see how far Lincoln’s head sinks. If you can still see all of the president’s head, only 2/32″ of your tread remains. That means you need to start shopping for new tires immediately!

If you keep a set of tires for six years and it still possesses enough tread, you should still replace them to be safe.

When to Change Your Brakes

Your vehicle’s brakes experience constant wear and tear from normal use. You need to be vigilant about their condition to keep them up-to-date. If you let them get too worn, they’ll fail to keep you from running into other drivers. Listen to your vehicle to find out your brake’s status.

If you hear a screeching noise when you brake, that means your brake pads are getting low. Brake pads are graphite components that press against your tires to bring your car to a stop. When the graphite wears down, that means your brakes need to be replaced. The screeching sound you hear when your brakes are low is a purposeful design feature. It’s there to clue you in that it’s time to buy new pads!

If you fail to keep your brakes and tires in good repair, you’re likely to get into an accident. Don’t let these components go too long without professional attention! You can always drop by your local mechanic and ask them to check your brakes and tires for you.