Tread depth refers to the measurement of the distance between the bottom of tread grooves and the surface of the tire. This measurement is often expressed in 32nds of an inch. New tire tread depths typically begin with 9/32’’ to 12/32’’ of tread. Tread depth can be used to assess the condition of a tire as a shallow tread depth will indicate a tire has worn. The tread needed to safely operate your vehicle will vary based on road and weather conditions. In addition, monitoring tread depth is essential to planning for future tire replacement.
Monitoring tire condition/tread depth:
Uneven or irregular tread wear can indicate problems with tire pressure, wheel alignment or tire balance, or a failure to rotate tires over time. As tires wear, braking effectiveness, steering control, and traction in wet weather will be compromised. Low tread depth restricts water, slush, and snow from escaping between tire tread and the road. This can cause hydroplaning and will reduce traction on wet and wintry roads. The minimum recommended tread depths for the following road conditions are: snow – 5/32”, rain – 4/32’’, dry – 2/32’’. Tread depth below 2/32’’ may violate applicable law.
Proper monitoring of tire condition and timely replacement will contribute to the safety performance of your vehicle and provide a more enjoyable ride. This will also have the added benefit of ensuring your vehicle meets its original load and speed rating specifications, allowing it to achieve its originally intended performance characteristics. Please ensure that any replacement tires match the physical dimensions, internal construction, tread design, and tread compound of the original tires.