tire tread check

Tire Tread Check – Safe Holiday Travel Tip #2

Tires-Easy Tire Safety

The holidays are a time of cheer and precious memories with friends and family from far and near. During the time between Thanksgiving and the first weekend in January chances are you and yours will gather at a location that requires driving. Before you hit the road, do a tire tread check. It is a good idea to do the tire tread check a few days before you leave in case corrective action is needed. Here is what to look for, and the actions to take when you do the tire tread check to ensure you arrive at your destination safe and sound.

How to do a Tire Tread Check

A tire tread check starts with a thorough visual inspection. Start by turning the steering wheel so you can see across the entire surface of the tread. You are looking for any signs of irregular wear that could be effecting one area of the tread more than another. If the tires are wearing evenly, you should then determine if you have enough tread on your tire. Experts agree that 2/32nds of rubber is the absolute limit for safe operation.
tire tread checkAll tires have a bar moulded into the grooves at a height of 2/32nds of an inch. If during your tire tread check you see that this bridge in the groove is level with the top of the tread, then you know it is time to buy new tires.

Another easy way to measure the depth of the tread is using a penny. Insert a penny, with Lincoln’s head pointing down as shown in the photo.  You should use one of the intermediary grooves, about half way between the outside of the tire and the center line of the tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, the tire is due to be replaced.

Rotate Tires If Worn Unevenly

Tire Tread Check

“Modified X” pattern of tire rotation.

Next to maintaining the correct air pressure, rotating the tires every 5,000 miles is the best way to extend the usable life of your tires. The suspension angles at each wheel position, and the crown of the road means that the stress on each tire varies from one corner of the vehicle to another. For this reason, moving the tire to a different position on the vehicle helps prevent irregular wear patterns in the rubber. Also, front tires wear much faster than rear tires so you want each tire to spend equal time on the front as on the back.

Rotation in the “modified X” pattern will work for most types of tires. The only exception are directional tires. If you have directional tires, your tire installer should know that they can only be rotated front to back on the same side of the vehicle.

Road Trip Ready with Tires-easy.com

Doing a tire tread check a few days before you leave on your holidays will allow you to get the tires rotated or replaced as needed. If your tires are worn to the wear bars and you are shopping for new tires, check out tires-easy.com for the best prices. We want to ensure a safe, fun holiday season for you and your family, without any tire related travel problems.

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