How can I tell when my tires are worn so much that they need to be replaced?

July 5, 2018

Question:

How can I tell when my tires are worn so much that they need to be replaced?

 

 

 



Lancaster Tire & Auto Care Answer:
That is a vital question for Lancaster motorists. As we discuss the matter, keep in mind that one of the critical jobs of your tire tread is to move water. The channels in the tread act as passages for water to escape from underneath the tire. The deeper the tread, the deeper the channel – and the more water that can be evacuated.

When enough water can’t be moved from underneath the tire, the tire can ride on the water – often called hydroplaning. The tire is literally not contacting the road but rather is “floating” on the water so there is little traction and the car can slide.

So somewhere between a brand new tire and a bald tire lies the point at which the tire should be replaced. Some governmental jurisdictions have minimum tread depth requirements for drivers - others do not. So check the important laws where you live in CA to learn the legal minimum.

Tire manufacturers are required to mold a tread wear bar into the tire. This bar appears across the tread when the tire is worn down to 1.6 mm (2/32 of an inch). Lancaster auto owners can easily do the quarter test. Insert a 25-cent coin into one of the grooves with the caribou’s head pointing down. If you can see the tip of the nose of this great northern animal, it is a sign of very worn treads. That means it is high time to bid adieu to your tires.

Studies have shown, however, that there is a critical difference in stopping distances for car owners in dangerous wet Lancaster conditions with tires that have less wear. For example, in controlled, wet conditions a vehicle with 3.18 mm (4/32 of an inch) of tread traveling at interstate speeds was able to stop in about 26 metres (85 feet) less distance than the same car with tires with 1.6 mm (2/32 of an inch) of tread. That could easily be the difference between a safe stop and hitting the car in front of you.

Lancaster car owners can gauge 3.18 mm (4/32 of an inch) by inserting a US quarter upside down into the tread. If it covers George Washington’s head, you have more than 3.18 mm (4/32 of an inch) of tread.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New tires are a big ticket item for Lancaster drivers so it’s natural to want to get as much value out of them as possible. Just remember that a huge part of that value is the ability to stop safely in wet Lancaster conditions. You can talk to with your courteous Lancaster Tire & Auto Care tire professional for help with tire replacement. 
 

 

Lancaster Tire & Auto Care

44430 Sierra Hwy
Lancaster, CA 93534

661.948.2658

At Lancaster Tire & Auto Care in Lancaster CA (93534) we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 661.948.2658.

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