Tread Depth: Why it’s important that your tyres have appropriate tread depth
Do you understand why car tyres have tread patterns on them? Do you know what the tyre tread is for?
Having a clear understanding of why tread depth is important will go a long way towards developing an understanding of why you need to check your tyres and their tread depth regularly.
Tyre tread basics
First, let's go through the basics. Tyre tread is the grooved pattern on the rubber tyres which allows your vehicle to grip the road properly and allows you to have control. This road traction is determined by the amount of space between the rubber of the tyre and the surface of the road; this is where the depth of your tread comes into play. Different tyres, designed for different driving conditions, have different tread depths and tread patterns.
In Victoria, tyre tread only needs to meet a minimum requirement of 1.5 mm to be considered road-worthy. However, most manufactured tyres come with a tread of about 8 mm.
Tyre tread and safety
While it may seem like you have about a 6 mm gap to play with before changing your tyres, the truth is you should probably change your tyres when the tread depth gets to about 3 mm.
Any less than 3mm and you start to compromise on the safety of your passengers and the safety of other road users.
As the depth of tread drops, your tyres begin to lose their ability to grip the road. Their traction is significantly reduced. When your tyres do not have the proper grip on the road, they put you at a much higher risk of hydroplaning in the wet, which can be extremely dangerous. However, it also diminishes your vehicle's handling and driveability, meaning you could also end up in a dangerous skid. Proper tyre maintenance can help keep you safer on the roads.
Regularly check your tyre tread
You can tell when your tyre's tread is wearing thin because each set of tyres has its own tread depth indicator. The wide grooves on the tyres are known as the primary (or principal) grooves. Within the secondary grooves, there are projections that help indicate when your depth is getting too low. Too low means your tyres are getting too worn out.
Regular tyre checks and maintenance can help monitor signs of tread depth wear and a wheel alignment or balance can help prolong tyre life.
Checking the depth of your tyre's tread is not only crucial for the handling and fuel economy of your vehicle, but it is also important for your safety.
If you want a no-obligation assessment of the tread on your tyres, and a quick introduction on how to keep checking this yourself, please get in touch to make an appointment.