Why Does Tread Depth Matter?

When it comes to maintaining your car, there are many things to keep in mind. One of the most important is your tires. Of course, you want to ensure they always have adequate tread depth so that you can stay safe on the road. But what is tread depth, and how much is considered "adequate"? 

What is Tire Tread?

The tire tread is the raised portion of the tire that comes into contact with the road. The primary purpose of tire tread is to provide traction, especially in inclement weather conditions. In wet or icy conditions, the tire tread helps displace water and slush so that contact between the tire and the road is not lost, which helps maintain stability and prevents hydroplaning. Tire tread also helps to protect the tire from damage. When the tread is shallow, the tire is more likely to be punctured or damaged by debris on the road.

What is Tread Depth?

Tread depth is the distance from the top of the tire tread to the bottom of the deepest groove. It is measured in 32nds of an inch, and new tires typically have a tread depth of 10/32" or 11/32".

When Should You Replace Your Tires?

Tires should be replaced when the tread depth has been reduced to 4/32" of tread because this is the level at which the tread is too shallow to provide appropriate traction. If you frequently drive in wet or icy conditions, replace your tires sooner to ensure your vehicle can drive safely on wet or slush-covered roads.


How Can You Get the Most Out of Your Tire's Tread?

Rotating your tires every 5,000 miles, keeping your tires inflated to the manufacturer-recommended PSI, and avoiding driving on potholes or other rough terrains whenever possible are essential in prolonging the life of your tire tread.

As you can see, tread depth is an essential factor to consider when it comes to the safety and performance of your vehicle. So, if you need new tires, or it's been a while since you've had your current ones inspected, be sure to stop by Wilton Auto and Tire Center. We'll be happy to help you get back on the road safely!

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Written by Wilton Auto and Tire Center