It is important to ensure your car tires are always in their tip top condition. This means that the tread should not be worn out beyond 1/16th of an inch. The treads help to displace water so that the tire is in contact with the road. Failure to this and the traction will be lost making the car harder to stop.
Worn out car tires are a real hazard to motorists. It is estimated that 200 people succumb to injuries related to worn out treads annually. This is, therefore, something you should take seriously. Here are a few pointers to determine when you need to replace them.
Tire manufacturers have created patterns on the rubber that can help you determine if it is time to change them. These indicators are bars that run across the tread from side to side, and it helps to indicate if the tread is worn out.
They are referred to as “tread wear bars” or “tire wire bars”. All you have to do is to look at whether the tire is worn down to the level of the tread bars. If it is then you need to have them changed immediately.
The Penny Test
The penny test is another important test that you need to perform from time to time to ensure that your wheels are safe while you are on the road. The treads are measured in 32nds of an inch. A new tire has a tread depth of 10/32”. If it needs replacement, it will be around 2/32”.
You may be in a position to establish if you’ve gotten to this level if you have a penny. Take a penny and point it upside down. That is the top of Lincoln’s head should go in first into the rib of the tread. The rib is the tread that runs through the circumference of the tire. Most regular tires will have four or five ribs. Once the penny is upside down, check to see how far the penny goes into the tire. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head including the top most part then it is time to get a replacement.
Tread Depth Indicator
The penny test is considered to be a good way to determine if the treads are too worn out. However, there are still other ways that you can use to establish beyond reasonable doubt if you need to replace your tires. A tread depth indicator is one of the ways you can do this.
The tread depth indicator/ gauge is a small device which you can buy from any auto parts store so that you don’t have to find pennies every time you need to do that particular examination. It is simply a small stick like device with graduations that help you determine how worn out the tires are. There are many different types, but a basic one with basic graduations should do. You can keep it in your car’s tool box for easy access whenever you need it.
You also need to pay attention to your car from time to time when driving. Are there vibrations coming from under the seats while you are driving? Is the tire very hot after driving a considerably short distance?
There may be laws that dictate the depth of the tread. In some parts of the world like the UK, the required minimum depth is 1/16″ while in the US it is 2/32”. Different jurisdictions within the same country may have varying rules and regulations which you need to pay attention so as to stay safe and avoid getting into the wrong hands of the law.
Written by Marc Laferierre, owner of Dents Unlimited. Dents Unlimited offers the best service for new tires in Columbia MO.