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Winter Tire Wear: How To Measure And Prevent It

Whether you live in an area where it snows a little or a lot, you should always keep an eye on the wear of your winter tires. As you know, like other vehicle parts, tires need to be kept in top condition to perform well on the road.

While winter tires are designed to offer better control and traction than other types of tires, this does not mean that they are exempt from wear and tear due to winter weather. In fact, all drivers should be aware of what the wear limits are, when they should be changed and how much mileage tires should be put on them to avoid accidents on the road.

To learn more about winter tire wear, how to measure it and what to do about it, continue reading our article.

Are there any risks of driving with worn tires in winter?

Winter tires are made of stronger materials to withstand poor winter conditions. However, aging or tire wear will cause the rubber to lose flexibility and strength, which means you may be at risk of slipping on the roads during the winter.

Therefore, it is important to perform an evaluation of the winter tires to verify that everything is in order. If you notice any alteration in the tread or the sipes, then you should consider taking certain precautionary measures to avoid any accident.

Wear limit for winter tires

In case you didn’t know, winter tire wear has a limit. According to Quebec law, the maximum treadwear must be at least 2/32″. However, it is best not to use winter tires that already exceed 4/32″ of tread, as their condition is unsafe enough to be worn on winter roads.

How can you measure the wear of winter tires?

Tire wear is measured by checking the tread depth. There are two main ways to help you check the tread depth of winter tires.

First of all, you can use a depth gauge, a specialized tool to measure the tread depth more easily. However, probably not everyone has this device, so there is another useful way to measure your tire.

The second option is to use a quarter, which you will have to insert into the tread of your tire, guided by the mouth of the caribou figure. If you can no longer see the mouth when you insert it, then you have about 6/32″ of tread. However, in case you can still see the mouth, it means that there is wear on the tires.

On a side note, keep in mind that winter tire wear can occur at different speeds. Some tires will have more resistance to icy conditions than others, so it is important to choose quality winter tires to ensure their durability. Also, don’t forget to keep an eye on the tire wear rate before driving on any road.

How many kilometers can a tire last?

Tires can last about 30 kilometers, but it is recommended to rotate them every 10 kilometers of travel to ensure even wear on all winter tires.

How to prevent winter tire wear?

  • You need to make periodic checks of tire wear, especially before driving on the road.
  • Store your winter tires in a warm place, placing them one on top of the other. Try to avoid warm spaces or spaces exposed to UV rays.
  • Buy winter tires from a good brand that can guarantee greater durability and resistance to freezing weather.
  • One of the recommendations you should follow is to maintain the wheel alignment adjustment every year, so you need to take it to a professional for proper maintenance.
  • You should be aware of any sensation at the wheel, i.e. if you notice irregular vibrations, discomfort or any kind of resistance.

Finally, if you notice that the wear on your winter tires is high, it is time to replace them with new ones.