How To Check Your Car's Tyre Wear
How To Check Your Car's Tyre Wear
A short tutorial for checking your car's tyre wear. A video that ensures your car's tyre wear is road safety. VideoJug gives you some top tips on how to check your tyres for wear and tear.
Step 1: You will need
- 1 tread depth gauge, for measuring tread depth
- 1 air pressure gauge
Step 2: Create a safe environment
Try to carry out the check away from traffic, parking on a level surface if possible.
If the car is automatic place the gear stick in the' Parking' position. In manual transmission cars, shift into first gear.
Apply the parking brake and turn off the ignition.
Work in a well-lit setup, making sure carry out this check in good lighting conditions. Remember, this is above all a visual check for you to find out whether and when to buy new tyres.
SAFETY WARNING: Do not smoke if you are carrying out this task in non-ventilated surroundings.
Step 3: Locate the tread
The tread is the thick molded surface of the tyre that grips the road. It consists of a pattern made up of grooves across the central three quarters of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.
The depth of these grooves should be even on all parts of the tyre. The less tread depth there is, the less grip and driving safety you have.
Step 4: Do a visual check
Inspect your tyre closely and remove any small objects stuck in the tread.
Check for noticeably uneven wear.
Replace the tyre straight away if you notice excessive wear, bulges, cracks or deep cuts in the tread or the side walls.
Look for the built-in tread wear indicator blocks. They are usually found at the bottom of the tyre's central groove. Check if the tread wear indicators are visibly flush with the surrounding tread; if so, replace the tyre.
Step 5: Use a tread-depth gauge
Check for excessive tread wear by using the gauge on one of the measuring points.
If the wear is obviously uneven, place the gauge on the section with the most wear as this part will go first.
Holding the gauge perpendicular to the tread, place it between two tread wear indicator blocks.
Then extend the gauge's little finger all the way into the bottom of the groove. Now read the value on the ruler.
The minimum tread depth for winter tyres should be at least 5,0 mm.
Summer tyres should have at least 3,0 mm. If your tread depth is under these figures it is time to replace the tyres.
Note that these values are ideal for your road safety, as they are much above the legal minimum for tread depth of 1.6 mm.
TIP: If the tread is below the legal minimum, fines can be over 2000 pounds/3000 dollars per tyre. Make sure to observe your local legal requirements for the minimum tread depth. However, note that the standard for most countries of 1.6 mm is too low to provide proper road safety in wet conditions.
TIP: If you don't have a tread-depth gauge use a ten pence coin to see if you have at least 1.6 mm. The distance between the coin's outer edge and the inner dotted circle is exactly 1.6 mm. If you can see the dots sticking out of the groove it is high time to buy new tyres.
Step 6: Adjust tyre pressure if necessary
If the wear on a tyre is uneven, you can counteract this in some cases by simply adjusting the tyre pressure
Over-inflation causes excessive wear down the centre of the tread so in this case, let some pressure off the tyre.
Under-inflation causes too much wear on the outer edges, so increase the pressure.
SAFETY WARNING: There are tread wear patterns that cannot be corrected with the tyre pressure.
If you note dips in the front tyre tread your wheels may be out of balance. This means the small lead weights attached to the rim of the wheel have the wrong weight or are in the wrong place or both. This will lead to vibration at cruising speed. Have your tyres balanced by a tyre specialist.
Check the surface of each tyre by running your hand lightly over the tread. If you notice bumps or even cracks on a relatively new tyre there may be problems with your suspension. Have shock absorbers or struts checked as soon as possible.
If your tyres are worn unevenly on one side of t