How to check your tire treads

The condition of your tires has a great impact on how safely your car handles. Worn tires can put your safety at risk due to poor traction. Check your tires for the following signs to determine if they need to be replaced.

Check the Tires Tread: The tread on your tires should never be less than 1/16th of an inch in depth, and no less than 1/8th of an inch in depth if you frequently drive on wet surfaces. One way to check the depth of your tire treads is to buy a special gauge. You can also try a technique called the penny test which is illustrated in the video below.

Check the Tread Wear Indicators: Tread wear indicators are found on most new models of tires and are a great way to quickly check how worn your tires are. They are flat, rubber bars that run perpendicular to the tire treads. On brand new tires, they can be hardly seen (if not invisible). As the tire wears over time, the tread wear indicator becomes more and more apparent.

Check For Surface Anomalies: Check the surface of the tire’s sidewall for irregularities such as grooves, cracks, blisters, or bulges. These could be a sign of a leak or a weak spot and could potentially put you at risk for a blowout.