Love's Blog

Tread Lightly On Low Tire Tread

Posted March 21, 2017
closeup of tire tread

Have you ever wondered how much your tire tread really affects your driving? Your parents probably reminded you to rotate and replace your tires, and now you do it out of habit because you know you're supposed to. But why is tire tread so important? Why do tires need to be replaced when tread gets low?

Tire tread refers specifically to the rubber on your tire that makes contact with the road. As tires are used, tread becomes worn down and is limited in its ability and to provide effective traction. This is important because the less traction you have, the more vehicle response and maneuverability is impaired. Worn down tires can be deadly on a wet road as tire tread channels water out from under tires. If your treads get too low, it may result in hydroplaning, when the tread skims that water's surface and the vehicle no longer responds to the steering wheel. Not only does tire tread keep you safe, but it can save you money too! Having proper tire tread can reduce fuel economy by up to five percent.

When you first purchase new tires, the tread is at about 10/32 of an inch. Tires are considered worn down at 2/32 of an inch, the point where you will no longer pass a tire safety inspection. This being considered, it's time to change your tires at 4/32 or 3/32 of an inch. At 4/32 of an inch, tire tread is starting to become dangerous for driving, especially when you're driving a big rig. If you're driving your rig in snow or rain, 2/32 of an inch may be too late.

You can do an easy test at your next stop to check your tire tread! Take a penny out of your wallet and put it into one of the grooves in your tires. If you can't see the top of Lincoln's head, you're in good shape. If his whole head is visible, if might be time to come into Speedco for new tires. Check your tires with every pre-trip inspection to ensure you're staying safe on the road.

Our Speedco tire locations also perform a free tire assessment for you with every oil change.

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