Automobile · July 19, 2022

TYRE TREAD DEPTHS: EXPLANATION AND IMPORTANCE

Tyre tread

Almost nobody spares a thought about the tread depth of a car. Even though the check-up is pretty simple, they only inspect it before an Car Tyres bath the car’s tyre tread depths that often. But it is a vital task, and every car owner should be vigilant about it. 

Tyre tread depth significantly affects the grip of the car, no matter its type. How much traction a car provides determines the safety of the driver, passengers, and other road users. Recently, cars have anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and electronic stability control systems (ESP) installed in them. They offer the drivers an enhanced grip while driving. For these systems to perfect the best, the 225 50 r17 tyres have to be in their best condition.

In this article, we will delve into the world of tyre tread depths. 

What Is A Tyre Tread?

The section of a tyre that touches the road surface is called a Bridgestone Tyres tread. Tyre tread has numerous patterns. The different designs of the patterns cater to the unique driving conditions, enhancing the car’s traction and handling. Each tyre tread comprises four components –

  • Ribs – the tread pattern has an elevated section called the ribs consisting of tread blocks. 
  • Grooves – they are deep channels lining the circumference and lateral section of the tyre. 
  • Tread blocks – the rubber segments in a raised platform are called tread blocks. These segments directly touch the road surface. 
  • Sipes – the blocks of tread have tiny, thin slots etched into them. They are known as sipes. 

All these components can be laid out in unique patterns to alter the performance of the tyres in vital areas such as grip, handling, wear and noise. Moreover, manufacturers can create tread patterns to deal with specific driving needs. Examples include wet braking, dry handling, aquaplaning (hydroplaning) resistance, and traction on ice and snow.

There is a wide range of tread patterns available now. But there are three broad categories – symmetrical tyre tread pattern, directional tyre tread pattern, and asymmetric tyre tread pattern.

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Why Is Tyre Tread Important?

Despite what people think, the size of the wheels and tyres is inconsequential. A small section of the tyre called a contact patch makes a contact with the road surface. The contact patch is as big as your palm, so it needs to provide maximum grip.

The depth of the grooves that surrounds the tyres is called ‘tread depth.’ More tread depth indicates less worn-out tyres and therefore, they will have better traction. Since a tiny amount of material has to bear the most work, it is paramount that tyres are in optimum condition. To achieve this, you have to make sure that there is sufficient tyre tread depth.

Legal Minimum Tyre Tread Depth

As per the UK government, 75% of the surface area of each tyre of a car must have a minimum of 1.6mm tread depth. But you should not wait to replace your tyres until they reach 1.6mm tread depth. Replace them when they reach a tread depth of 3mm – below this tread depth, the traction reduces considerably. 

Generally, a brand new tyre comes with a tread depth of 8mm. 

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What Is The Work Of A Tyre Tread?

Tyre tread is useful for flushing water out from underneath the tyre. The grooves in the rotating wheel have grooves that act as a pump, sucking water from the contact patch. Thus, the road surface becomes dry. A tyre in proper condition can dispose of 15 litres of water every second. 

As tyre tread depth decreases, this ability of a tyre also reduces. Moreover, there is the instance of aquaplaning –  where the tyre skims on the water surface instead of the road. Aquaplaning affects the ability to steer or brake, leading to serious accidents. You can prevent this from happening if the tyres are in a good condition. 

 Indicators Of Tyre Tread Wear

Get into the habit of checking your tyres at least once each week. Nowadays, tread depth wear indicators are embedded into the rubber of all tyres. So you will only need a few minutes to check it. The indicators look like horizontal ridges in a rectangular shape. As tyres wear out, they get closer and closer to the tyre surface. When they are in line with the surface, you will see them. It is not a good sign; you need to replace the tyres immediately. 

How To Inspect A Tyre?

A visual inspection will let you know if your tyres are reaching the legal minimum tread depth. Even so, you should conduct a thorough checkup as regularly as possible. For this task, you only require a 20p coin.

Put the edge of the coin in between your finger. Thumb into the gaps of the tread at various points. The rim of this coin has 3mm depth; if the tread height doesn’t pass this mark, it indicates the tyre needs immediate replacing. You can also buy a tread depth gauge from a good car accessory store to get a more precise indication. If you think that you cannot assess the condition of your tyres properly, consult a mechanic. 

Therefore, the tyre tread depth of Tyres Near Me is crucial for everyone’s safety, including you. It won’t hurt to have a cordial relationship with your local tyre supplier. If you familiarise yourself with the staff and become their regular customer, you’ll most probably get free inspections.

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