How to check the tyres tread wear?

To make sure you drive safely, regularly checking the tyres tread wear is a simple process. In case of bald tyres, it's vital and legally required to replace them as soon as possible.

Practical tips:

A tyre usually lasts between 20,000 and 50,000 miles, depending on the driver's habits and the vehicle's condition.

You'll find the tyre wear indicators (marked as TWI) in the tyres tread. The TWI are raised rubber features located at the bottom of the tread grooves, they indicate when the tyre has reach its wear limit. The tyre will have to be replaced at this point.

For obvious safety and legal reasons, each worn, bald or defective tyre can cost you a fine up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points. So if all four tyres aren't up to standard, you could face a fine of £10,000, 12 points and an automatic ban.

It's forbidden to mount tyres that are not similar (brand, structure, size) on a same axle. In case of flat or deflated tyre, you can temporarily use a sightly different tyre but the driving speed will have to be reduced.

The dangers of a bald tyre:

  • Increased risks of puncture
  • Loss of adhesion
  • Risk of hydroplaning
  • Loss of braking power

Something to know about:

You can purchase a tread depth gauge to monitor your tyres. It's really easy and only requires a few minutes of time.

The numerical tread wear indicator is a system that a few manufacturers are starting to use: a tread wear scale of several numbers engraved. The numbers disappear as the tyre gets used.


MichelinTV: How to check tyre tread depth

In this video, you'll see how to use a tread depth gauge to check the tyre wear.


How to check your tyre treads

You can also use a 20p coin to check the depth, as shown in this video that describes a very complete verification.


How to check your tyre tread

Another description of the 20p trick.

This article to learn how to check the tyres tread wear was written by Cécile Lessard

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