Common Sign or Symptoms of Bad Tires

Bad tires are every driver’s worst nightmare. Besides giving a rough experience on the road, there is also the risk of accidents. To be on the safe side, you need to know the symptoms of bad tires. Most of the time, the issue starts small and grows over time.

It is advisable to deal with the tire problem when it is still manageable. If the problem goes overboard, you may incur a lot of expenses. Issues with the tires may range from low pressure to a faulty suspension system, like a bad ball joint.

We will show you some telltale signs of a bad wheel to help you deal with it promptly.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Bad Tire?

Highlighted below are some of the signs of a tire that is in bad shape.

bad tire symptoms noise

Driving Experience

Tire failure will present itself on your vehicle in many ways. First of all, you will have a rough driving experience. Bad tires cause vibration; the vehicle may appear shaky and unstable on the road. The problem may be a puncture or deflated tires. Once you notice such a problem, stop the car and try to ascertain the root of the problem.

In severe situations, there will be a burning smell or smoke from the affected tires. In such a situation, you may find them to be past their service life. The logical solution is to replace them. If you feel a distant thump when on the wheels, you may have a screw-in tire.

Still, on driving experience, the vehicle may appear to slant. Slanting is one of the symptoms of unbalanced tires or a puncture. For your safety, do not drive a car that appears to slant. Another sign of this hitch is difficulty in steering. It is also an indicator of imbalance.

Noises When Driving

Noises when driving may be an indication of failing wheel components. Many people confuse bad tire symptoms noise with engine sounds. You have to listen closely if you feel the pitch is high, more of grinding or grating.

A CV joint noise will be more of clunking and clicking. The sounds get louder with acceleration or braking.

Tire Appearance

On tire appearance, you physically inspect the tires to see what state they are in. You should inspect them each time before driving to prevent any eventualities. Let us look at some of the various aspects to be keen on the tire’s physical state.

Tire Wear Patterns

Start by inspecting the tire wear pattern. This car part comes into contact with the road; hence, it has a fast rate of degradation. The pattern will give you a hint of the underlying problem. Solving it will be easy. For instance, if it wears in the middle, it is an indication of over-inflation. Side wear patterns are a sign of under-inflation.

Bald Tires

Another area to pay attention to is the signs of bald tires. Bald tires have worn-out treads and won’t offer the much-needed grip on the road. Inspect the tread to ensure it is alright. You can perform the coin test to see if you need new tires or opt for retreading. For this test, you place the coin with the tails up. If you can see the head from the edges, you have to get new tires.

Another sign of baldness is poor braking. Braking relies on friction to stop the car. Without treads, braking will be pretty challenging, especially on slippery surfaces.

Presence Of Weak Spots

Weak spots present themselves in the form of blisters or bulges. These areas are very sensitive and can easily burst under too much pressure or physical impact.

Alerts from the Tire Pressure Sensor

If you drive a car manufactured from 2008 and later, it will have a tire pressure sensor. This sensor will detect any deviations in tire pressure, and you will receive a notification on the dashboard. Should the sensor alert you, it is prudent that you check your pressure for a smooth experience on the road.

Fuel Economy

Worn tires can negatively affect your vehicle’s fuel economy. The engine will require more power to move the wheels, translating to more fuel consumption. While many issues may cause poor fuel economy, do not overlook the wheels.

Issues with the Suspension System

A failing tire can affect supporting components like the suspension system. It is mostly due to the strain that comes due to the imbalance. The problems show in the form of wheel bearing problems, noise, and vibrations. At times, the wheel failure may result from faulty suspension parts, such as worn shocks and struts.

Looking at the listed signs, you have a head start telling between bad tires vs. good tires.

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs)

Q: What Do Bad Tires Do To Your Car?

You should never drive with bad tires on your car as it hastens its rate of wear. The driving experience will be bad due to vibrations, which come due to loss of balance. Bad tires will also affect the car suspension system parts, primarily the linkages.

Furthermore, they get in the way of functions like steering and braking. It may compromise your safety and that of other road users.

Q: How Many Years Do Tires Last?

Tires have an average life of 6-years. However, there are excellent quality brands, and they may serve you for up to ten years. For the best results, you should practice tire rotation for even wear. Balding, blisters, and bulging are signs that you need new tires.

Q: Will Bad Tires Make A Car Shake?

Bad tires affect your vehicle’s equilibrium, more so in the case of uneven wear patterns. On the road, they lead to shaking, vibrations, and loss of braking and steering power. Initially, you may notice shaking when accelerating or braking.

With serious degradation, the vibrations become more prominent. Such a situation is both uncomfortable and dangerous, mainly for vehicles that handle heavy loads.

Q: Is It OK To Drive With Bald Tires?

Balding refers to the loss of tire tread. It can appear in the form of patches, where retreading can sort out the issue. If more pronounced, you need a replacement. Bald tires lead to loss of braking power. The situation can be hazardous on slippery surfaces.

Q: What Happens If You Drive On Old Tires?

An essential thing to know is that tires have an expiry date. You should inspect them after 6-years and replace them before they reach the ten-year mark. Tires wear even if they are not frequently used, meaning you should not use them if they are old. Old tires can get damaged unexpectedly when driving and may leave you stranded or in an accident.

Q: How Much Does It Cost To Replace All Four Tires?

When getting a tire replacement, you have to work within your budget. The cost depends on various factors like the type of car, tire specifications, and preferred tire brands. For a standard sedan, you will part with an average of $50-$70 per wheel. Therefore, the total cost is $200-$280 for four.

If you have a sports car or SUV, you need sturdier wheels, which cost more, going up to $800 for a full set.


Tires are a crucial part of your car; thus, there is a need for concern if they are in bad shape. The problem arises where you do not know how to tell if your tires are bad. Coming to your aid, we provide you with signs and symptoms of bad tires. Go through the several pointers to failing wheels to help you know the hitch and deal with it earlier. Do not forget to regularly inspect the tires to see if they require attention.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts