Video: How to check your tire depth/tread

How are the treads on your tires? It’s not something we think about too often, but we should be checking the depth regularly. We’ve done some testing, and there is a significant increase in the distance it takes your car to stop as your tires become more worn.
 

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How to check your tire depth/tread

 

How are the treads on your tires? It’s not something we think about too often, but we should be checking the depth regularly. We’ve done some testing, and there is a significant increase in the distance it takes your car to stop as your tires become more worn.

But don’t worry; it’s easy to check tire depth. You got this. 

1. Make sure your car is parked, turned off, with the parking brake on. 

If you don’t have a depth gauge don’t worry we’ll cover some alternate methods later.

2. Grab the depth gauge. Find the pin and insert that into the grooves between the treads of the tire. Press down on the base plate of the gauge unit until it is flush with the tire tread. 

3. Repeat step one in several other places on the same tire. Four different places is a good guideline.

4. The lowest reading you get is going to be the correct overall reading for the tire. If the reading shows fluctuations across multiple points on the same tire, it’s probably time to visit your local Canadian Tire Service Centre to check for tire, suspension or other vehicle problems that are causing the tire to wear unevenly. 

5. Now, let’s find out what those readings mean. Check out this handy chart

6. As you can see, if your reading is less than 2/32”, your tires are legally worn out and you’re going to have to replace them.

7. If your reading was between 2/32” and 4/32” you’re probably better off replacing your tires, as they’ve started to become pretty worn out. You’ve got some time, but replacement is advised. 

8. If your reading was above 4/32”, congratulations, your tires are in good shape. 

9. If you don’t have a depth gauge, don’t worry; you can get a quick and dirty measurement two other ways.

All tires are made with 2/32” tall “wear bars” which are bumps that are positioned in between the tread blocks on the tire. 

10. If your tread is at the same height as these bars, you need to replace your tires now. 

If the tread is close, you may way to get a proper measurement done to see if you are at 4/32” or lower.

11. Alternatively, simply insert a nickel between the tire treads the same way you would have with the depth tool. Insert with Queen Elizabeth’s crown facing down, so the top of the coin goes into the tread first. 

12. If you can see the top of the Queen’s crown, your tire is below 2/32” and needs to be replaced.

Now you know how to measure the depth, and ensure you’ve always got enough tread to get from point A to point B safely. Didn’t we tell you? You got this.  

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