When making life decisions it can often times be difficult knowing exactly how and when to take action. Exactly when is it time to get a new dishwasher or washing machine? When is it time to get a new pair of running shoes? When is it time to re-grip  your golf clubs? I don't have all the answers, but I do know the easiest way to know when it's time to buy new tires.

There are signs that the time is drawing near when a person needs to consider investing in new tires. It may be that the tread on the tires is noticeably worn down, or it may be that you just can't seem to keep air in a tire.

There may be cords showing through the rubber, or there may be a bubble on the side of the tire. These are all signs that it's time --and probably  past time- to get new tires. But, some of us tend to put off these costly ventures for as long as possible, hoping perhaps to get just one more winter out of them.

But the easiest way to know you need new tires is when you are driving down North Avenue when all of a sudden you hear the sounds of metal on asphalt as your tire is completely shredded from the rim. It's not a sound you ever want to hear, and certainly not at 5am when you're on the way to work. But, suddenly the revelation hits you --it's time for new tires.Wow, that was easy!!

Hopefully, you are able to pull into a parking lot without doing any damage to the rim. The last thing you want is that added expense. You'll get it towed in later.

(Zane Mathews)

With any luck, a sheriff's deputy will happen to be passing by and offer to get you to work. Of course, he's probably going to ask you if you have any guns or knives on you, and most likely give you a pat down. Then  maybe he'll slip you into the backseat of his SUV and get you to work on time, wishing you a pleasant day as  you thank him for his kindness.

Later on in the day, you bite the bullet -- because you have to -and make that much needed investment in new tires. You may even be relieved to discover the new tires are just half the cost you expected and end up buying four new ones instead of just the two you thought you were getting.

The four new tires will go nicely with the brand new battery you got last night after finding your battery completely dead following a round of golf at Lincoln Park.  What's next?