How to measure tyre tread?

How to measure tyre tread?


Tyres are important in your car or any other vehicle and they need regular checkups to run smoothly and safely on roads. Tyres are the only connection with the road surface. Therefore they are responsive to the surface conditions during drives. You can easily check your tyre tread on the way in an easy way:

  • Your hand brake must be on while the ignition needs to be off
  • Keep the steering fully locked
  • Keep an eye on Tread Wear Indicator (TWI)
  • Above TWI, little blocks will be visible

The minimum legal depth is 1.6 mm and this is when the tread is level with indicators and you need to change the tyres immediately. To be on the safe side, this depth should be 3mm.

How to measure tyre tread depth?

These are simple and easy ways to measure the tread depth of your tyres.

  • First, you need to check Tread Wear Indicators (TWIs) that are built in the design grooves of the tyres. There is an even space between these horizontal small bars around the circumference of tyres. The tread depth has reached the minimum level if the tyres have a level with these horizontal bars. This is time to change your tyres.
  • You can also use tyre gauges to accurately measure tread depth. They are available in the market in the form of laminated color indicators or digital tyre depth gauges.
  • Also, place the gauge into the grooves of your tyre and measure the distance from the minimum depth.

How much tread on a new tyre is required?

Brand new tyres are generally developed in 10/32” or 11/32” treads depth whereas some of the vehicles like SUV and trucks may have tyres with deeper tread. Likewise, winter tyres also have a deeper tread than the other tyres. According to UK law, car tyres are required to be made with 1.6mm as minimum tread depth that is in a continuous band covering the central three-quarters of tyre.

How much tyre tread is legal?

The legal tyre tread depth for cars in the UK and Europe is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre to law. As a new car tyre is made with 8-9mm, mostly the minimum requirement by law is 1.6mm across the central 75% of the tyre tread. It is highly recommended by the manufacturers that 3mm should be considered as time to replace the tyre and point of 1.6mm should not be waited for.

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