The condition of your vehicle’s tires should be something you’re aware of. Without the proper amount of tire tread on your car or motorcycle tires, you run a higher risk of being involved in an accident.

Too little tire tread makes it difficult for tires to grip the road, especially in wet conditions, which could cause your vehicle to skid out of control.

While reducing your speed in wet weather can help you maintain better control of your vehicle,  you want to make sure your tire treads are sufficient enough to keep you safe.

How do you know when your tires are ready to be replaced, and what can you do to prevent unnecessary tire wear?

How to check the tread depth of your car or motorcycle tires?

We recommend that your tires are replaced once the treads have been worn down to 3mm or 3/32 of an inch. If you’re unsure of the depth of your tire treads there are a couple of ways to measure them.

  1. Most tires have wear bars designed into the tire.  These can be found at various locations around the tire and serve as an indicator for when the tire treads have worn down to 3mm (3/32 of an inch). They allow you to see the wear of your tire without having to take measurements. When you notice the treads have worn down to the indicator bars, it’s time to replace your tires.
  2. A common way to check tread depth is to use an American penny. Just place the penny, with Lincoln’s head upside down, between the treads. If his head is visible, you need to replace your tires.

What causes your car or motorcycle tires to wear?

Bad driving habits, the type of vehicle and the type of tire can all cause tire treads to wear more quickly. Other factors that contribute to early or irregular tire wear are:

Tire inflation

Under or over inflated tires can cause uneven tire wear. Use your tire manufacturer’s instructions to identify the correct tire inflation pressures. A correct tire pressure keeps the vehicle’s weight, handling, acceleration and braking evenly distributed throughout all the tires. Under or over inflating your tires can cause a shift in balance, resulting in uneven wear on your tires.

Tire alignment

Incorrect tire alignment means your vehicle’s tires are not angled in the proper position when making contact with the road. This will cause uneven wear on your tire’s treads. If you suspect your tires may be incorrectly aligned, you may want to consider having a mechanic check the tire alignment on your vehicle.