How To Check Tyre Tread

Tyre tread has to be sufficiently deep to allow your car to come to a stop when you apply the brakes. Without sufficient tyre tread, your car’s wheels cannot displace water that is on the road properly and that means the likelihood that you end up aquaplaning dangerously is significantly increased.

In order to maintain good traction on the road’s surface means that the tread needs to be in excellent condition over the entire circumference of the tyre. If not, you can notice that the car fails to steer in a responsive way. This is a huge problem if you see a hazard in the road ahead of you and need to swerve as a result.

In the worst cases, lack of tread will mean that your tyre is bald and you end up skidding, with potentially disastrous results. Of course, driving with insufficient tread is illegal, so checking them regularly means you don’t have to worry about being stopped by the Police either.

Inspecting Tyres

Bridgestone suggests using a dedicated tread gauge which gives a fast and user-friendly reading.

Alternatively, simply inspecting your tyres will give you the best chance of seeing how the tread is bearing up. Needless to say, you need to do this in good light conditions when you can get near to the ground, so don’t do it at night or in the evening in winter. Equally, don’t try to do it in a car park, when your car is sandwiched between two other vehicles, because you cannot get a good view. As well as space either side, remember to have some back and forth space, too. This is so you can roll the car into a new position, allowing you to inspect the whole of each tyre. Never, leave out the portion that is out of sight on the tarmac.

Checking Tread

An easy way of checking tread depth is with a twenty pence piece.

1. Position the coin into the tyre’s grooves.

2. Look at the outer band of the coin. If you are able to insert the band into the tread so that you cannot see it, then tread depth is adequate.

3. If the band remains visible, then you should change your tyre for a new one. For ease of access, UK tyres dealer Point-S, offer an online reserve and fit system, so that you can book tyres online.

Here's a short video of using the 20p to test tyre tread:

Keep placing it into the grooves at regular gaps all the way around and remember to move your car so you can reach the part that is in contact with the ground.

As well as working around the circumference, you should check in positions all over the tyre’s width.

This chart will help you know what is good and bad tyre tread: