According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey, almost 11 percent of vehicles in United States have one or more bald tire. Vehicles with a bald tire has the greater risk of losing control especially during bad weather, and hydroplaning which can lead to injuries, fatalities, and accidents. In most state, when tires have worn down to 2/32″ of remaining tread depth, the tire is legally worn out. The legal limit for car tire tread depth is 1.6mm or across 75% of the tire.
Tires sold in these states are required to have indicators molded into their tread design in order to warn drivers that their tires already reach that point. This indicators are called “wear bars”. It is designed to warn drivers when their tires no longer meet minimum tire tread depth requirements and also to visually connect the elements of the tire’s tread pattern.
The Role Of Tire Tread Depth
Tire tread depth plays a very important role to your car because it gives proper performance and proper traction to your car. Tires are the only grip your vehicle has on the road. The deeper the tread the more grip you have.
During bad weather when roads are wet, you should consider replacing your tires especially when it has approximately 4/32″ of remaining tread depth. You need enough tread depth to allow rain to escape through the tire’s grooves. Your vehicle’s tires will be forced to loss traction or float on top of the water if the water can’t escape fast enough.
When the roads were covered with snow, in order to maintain good mobility, you should replace tires when they reach approximately 6/32″ of remaining tread depth. You need to have more tread depth because your tires need to compress the snow in their grooves and release it as they roll.
How To Check If You Still Have Enough Tread Depth
Learning how to check tire tread depth is very important in order to make sure the tires on your car are safe and will be able to handle any type of road conditions. Being aware of the tread depth of your tires helps you judge when you need to replace them. Know when to replace your car’s tires to avoid dangerous situations and costly accidents.
When your tread is less than 4/32” in depth, it is important that you consider replacing them for the safety of you and your passengers. Any of these methods can let you know if your tires need to be replaced.
• Penny Test
It is the easiest way to check your tread depth. You can do this by placing a penny with Lincoln’s head down between the tire grooves. Your tread depth is less than 2/32 inch if tread covers any portion of Lincoln’s head. However, this kind of test does not usually give the accurate measurement.
• Tire Tread Gauge
This is the most accurate way to check your tread depth. The tread depth gauge accurately measure the tread on your tire at any given time. You can simply insert the pin of the gauge into the shallowest groove of the tread and then read the scale. In order to be sure that your tire is wearing evenly, you can check the tread level in several areas of your tire.
• Tread Wear Bars
Another way to check your tire tread depth is to look at the tread-wear indicator bar which is usually located at the bottom of the tread grooves around the tires. When the tread reaches 2/32 inch, you need to replace your tire immediately since the tire is not safe to use. But still, you should not rely on this method because it does not give the accurate measurement of your tire tread depth.