Getting new car tyres can be expensive, but it's not something you should put off for your car. You may assume that the engine, transmission, and brakes are more important, and certainly these parts are vital for keeping your car safe on the road, but your car's tyres are also just as important. Note why this is and when you should consider getting a new tyre or new set of tyres.
Uneven wear or tread pattern
If you notice that your car's tyres have an uneven wear or tread pattern, this often means that the tyre itself is underinflated or overinflated. If it's overinflated, this puts added pressure on the rubber down the center of the tyre and you may note that it becomes worn in this area more than the outside. If it's underinflated, the outside rubber makes more contact with the road, and this will wear down more quickly.
Once this wear is showing, you'll want to replace the tyre and then always ensure you keep it inflated within the recommended readings according to the manufacturer, taking into account your vehicle weight, type of road you drive on, and other driving conditions. Driving with this uneven wear can mean not being able to control your car as that tyre is not gripping the road properly. This added pressure on one part of the tyre can also increase your risk of a blowout.
Bubbling or soft rubber
If you notice any bubbles, areas of soft rubber, bulges, and other such defects on a tyre, you want to replace it right away. When rubber gets soft, usually due to age or exposure to hot weather, it can hold air in certain pockets, causing bubbles and bulges to form. This soft rubber increases the risk of the tire bursting or cracking in that area, and suddenly going flat.
If a tyre seems deflated, you can add some air and still drive on it, but note if it's consistently deflated. If so, this usually means there is a crack in the rubber or a leak around the valve stem. These are both dangerous, as cracked rubber can mean the risk of a blowout, as mentioned above. A leak around the valve stem can just get worse, as there is pressure on that stem from inside the tyre; your tyre may simply go flat while you're on the road. A repair shop might be able to fix the tyre but if not, it needs to be replaced.