Do I Need New Tires? How To Check Your Tire Tread

Having your own vehicle is all fun and games, until you realize you have to keep up with maintenance.

Many people may not realize it, but they are probably driving on worn out tires – and this can be dangerous, especially in Canada’s “4-seasons in one day” driving conditions we all know and love so much.

Driving on worn out tires can put you at risk of hydroplaning, reduced traction in snow, and increased chances of tire blowouts.

To help keep you safe on the road (and out of the ditch), we’ve put together a quick guide on how to check your tire treads – so you can easily recognize when it’s time to put some new tires on your ride.

Signs To Watch For

First things first is recognizing the signs that indicate that it is time to change your tires – and there are a number of them.

Below we will go over a few of the easily noticeable signs that will let you know when it’s time to check your tires’ treads and, in most cases, replace your tires altogether.

  • If you notice vibrations while driving – more so than the normal vibrations that come from potholes or gravel roads – it is definitely a sign that your tires (or something else) are in need of a little TLC
  • One easily visible sign to watch for is if you begin to notice bulges or blisters on your tires – these happen when your tires start to weaken and wear out, and can even result in tire blow outs.
  • One of the most obvious signs is if your tires are starting to look worn out, plain and simple. If the tires are starting to look “bald” and the treads seem shallow, or, in the case of newer tire models, you can see the built-in tread indicators, it’s time for a check up.

How To Check The Tire tread

If you have noticed any of the above signs, your next step is to actually check the treads – chances are they are worn out and it’s time for a change.

Technically speaking, if your tires treads are at or below 4/32”, it’s time for a new set.

Your first instinct may be to pop into the shop up the road (or call your dad), but checking your tires tread is actually incredibly quick, and easy, to do yourself – and there a few different ways to do it.

The easiest (and possibly most Canadian way) to check your tires treads is by using a toonie. Slip the toonie into the tread of your tire: if the toonie is covered up until the picture of the polar bear, your tread is fine and your tires are most likely brand new; if the tread just covers the silver ring of the toonie, your tread is about halfway worn; and if the tread covers only around half (or less) of the outer silver ring, it’s time for new tires.

Stay Safe

If you want to stay safe on the roads, properly maintaining your vehicle is something that you need to take seriously. If your tires treads are worn out and on their last few miles, it’s time for you to install new tires – make an appointment with your local shop today and ensure that your car can handle whatever road conditions are thrown at it.