The 20 Cent Tread Testing Trick
Driving around on tyres with not enough tread is dangerous. Not just for you, but also your passengers and everyone else on the road. In our line of work at our tyre shop in South Auckland, we understand that only too well. So do you, no doubt. We all know it yet so many people continue to do it every day: they drive on threadbare tyres that almost resemble the “slicks” you see on Formula One cars. Our roads are not race tracks and slick tyres are never OK unless your name is Lewis Hamilton.
It gets worse in winter. At this time of year, when the roads are often wet, the danger just increases. Tyres with no tread fail to dissipate the water lying on the road and will create a film of water beneath your tyres. When travelling at speed, that film of water takes on treacherous proportions and nasty prangs can result.
Deeper treads on your tyres allow for more water to be displaced, which provides much better grip on the road and a safer ride for everyone. But how do you know if you have the right amount of tread? By law, there has to be 1.5mm of tread around the circumference of the tyre and across three-quarters of the width. Here’s an easy way to test the condition of your tyres.
Grab a 20 cent coin. You’ll see that the bottom of the “20” is about 2mm from the edge of the coin. With the number facing towards you, insert the coin into the tread of the tyre. If the “20” is partly concealed, then you know that the tread of your tyre is within the legal guidelines.
However, if you can read the whole number then your tyre is hovering around the legal threshold and it’s probably time to replace it. Our 20 cent coin trick is a guide only, and should only be used to give you a rough idea of what’s going on. We always recommend that you see tyre experts like us for a more accurate report.
We understand that many people are forced to drive on inferior tyres through necessity. They know they need new tyres but their budget is tight and they have other things to pay for – yet they still have to get to work, or take kids to school, etc. But we have a range of new and used tyres that fall into the budget category so we think it’s worth getting in touch and asking what we can do.