Whether you’re enjoying a summer road trip or are driving through a spring rainstorm, it’s important that your car is in optimal driving condition. Having well-maintained tires will make your trips smooth and safe, no matter the weather or the terrain you’re traveling on.
What You Need to Know About Tire Tread
What Is Tread?
Beyond picking your favorite tire brand of tire, you should be looking for tread quality. A tire’s tread is the grooves, shapes, and patterns on the exterior of the wheel. It’s a vital component that ensures the rubber makes adequate contact with the road’s surface.
This improved grip means better maneuverability and even higher fuel performance. Tire tread will naturally wear down over time. Have your auto mechanic check to ensure you have adequate tread before taking any summer or spring road trips.
How Much Tread Is Enough?
A tread depth gauge is the official tool for measuring a tire’s tread. To check your tread, stick this gauge inside the groves and measure the distance to the tip of the rubber. If you don’t have a depth gauge, use the unofficial tool—a penny. Stick the coin upside down in the tread with Lincoln’s head facing you. If all of his head is visible, your tread is too worn down.
Tread usually starts at around 10/32 or 12/32 of an inch. It’s advised to stay above 6/32, and if the tread is below 3/32, it’s time to start shopping for new tires.
How Does Terrain Impacts the Need for Tread?
Even during warmer months, adequate tread is essential. Wet roads are a year-round factor drivers must deal with. A minimum of 4/32 of an inch of tread is needed for safe driving.
If you like off-roading where terrain can be more intense, you may need tires with a deeper tread. Consider those with a tread of 15/32 of an inch. You’ll also need to replace your tires more frequently to ensure safety.
Looking for tires or other car parts to get your vehicle ready for the spring and summer seasons? Come to Northwest Auto Parts in Anchorage, AK. Since 1981, they’ve been a trusted resource for local drivers and insurance companies in search of vehicles and used car parts. To search through their inventory of over 60,000 auto parts, visit them online or call (800) 770-6531 to learn more.