One telling factor that you need to be aware of to determine the condition of your tires is tread depth (a vertical measurement from the top to the bottom of the tire's deepest grooves). With good treads, your car will be able to get better traction on the road. When tire treads have declined, your vehicle may struggle to drive in wet weather conditions. Worn treads can also make other parts of your vehicle wear down quicker. The state of Michigan suggests that you replace tires when they've worn down to 4/32 inch, as it is considered illegal to drive with your front tires lower than 4/32 inch and rear tires below 2/32 inch. Otherwise, the insufficient tread is deemed to be illegal and may land you a ticket.
Measuring Tread with Spare Change
If you don't have access to a tread depth gauge to measure your tread, do not fret! Did you know that tire tread depth can be checked with a U.S. penny (2/32 inch) or quarter (~4/32 inch)?
- Insert the coin into the groove between two ribs with Lincoln's or Washington's head facing down.
- If the top of the head of the coin figure is covered, your tires have sufficient tread.
- If you can see Lincoln's or Washington's entire head, your tires have worn to less than 2/32 inch (penny) or less than 4/32 (quarter); and it is time for new tires!
Other Tire Conditions That Indicate a Need for Tire Replacement
Besides tread wear, some other signs may hint you need new tires. If you notice any of these conditions when inspecting your tires, please bring them to Auto DR for an inspection and replacement:
- Failure of the penny or quarter test
- Apparent indicator bars shown
- Localized spot wear or uneven wear
- Exposed cord
- Bulges, blisters
- Deep cuts/cracks on sidewalls
- Unrepairable punctures
- Damage caused by driving with a flat tire
- Warped, cracked, corroded, or damaged rim/wheel
- Your tires are 6-10+ years old
Wondering if your tires need to be replaced? We invite you to Auto Dr, so our professionals can examine your tires. You can give us a call at (586) 684-4706 or visit our auto repair shop in Ira Township, MI.