Tyre Tread Depth

Tyre tread depth directly impacts your vehicle’s grip, handling, and overall safety. In Australia, the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm. However, maintaining tyres with optimum tread depth is equally essential for optimal performance.

How to Check Tyre Tread Depth

Fortunately, you don’t need fancy equipment or a trip to the mechanic to check your tyre tread depth. Most modern tyres come with tread wear bars or tread wear indicators (TWI) in their longitudinal grooves. These indicators serve as a visual cue – when the tread wears down to the level of these bars, it’s time for new tyres.

Alternative Methods for Checking Tread Depth

If your tyres lack TWI, a simple method involves using a 20 cent coin:

  1. Insert the coin into the deep grooves (tread pattern) of your tyre.
  2. Ensure the Queen’s head faces downwards into the groove.
  3. If the tread reaches the Platypus’ bill (nose) on the coin, your tyres still have sufficient rubber. However, consider replacing them soon based on your driving habits.
  4. If the tread doesn’t reach the Platypus’ bill, it’s time to rotate from the spare or purchase new tyres immediately.

Why Tread Depth Matters

Low tread depth reduces traction and grip on the road, especially in wet or slippery conditions. This can lead to increased stopping distances, skidding, and loss of control – all of which pose significant safety risks.

Ensuring Roadworthiness

Tyres below the legal tread depth limit of 1.6mm make your vehicle un-roadworthy. It’s crucial to prioritize tyre maintenance to avoid potential fines, penalties, and, most importantly, unsafe driving conditions.

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