Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How do I know when to change my tires?

asked by on

I heard my tires will wear out soon, when do I know to change them?

A: Mechanics usually check tires with a tread ...

Mechanics usually check tires with a tread depth gauge that measures in 1/32 of an inch. Depending on the tire it can be manufactured anywhere between 8/32 to 13/32 of an inch of tread. Tires become unsafe and illegal, depending on where you live, when they get to about 3/32 of an inch. Luckily this is easy to determine. If you look at your tires between the treads, you might see a little bar that connects the two treads together. This rubber bar goes all the way across usually and looks like it’s just left over from the manufacturing process. This bar is actually a wear indicator. Once your tread is even with the bar, it’s time for new tires.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Check engine light on again

Your check engine light may come on for many different reasons such as a faulty mass air flow sensor, a faulty O2 sensor, a bad catalytic converter, bad spark plugs or wires and many other reasons. Unfortunately due to the...

Q: a couple of times (twice over a two week period) I've had difficulty starting my car. the ready light would not go on

Hi there. For your assurance I am a former Toyota Master Hybrid certified technician. There is no starter on the hybrid vehicles from Toyota. These vehicles start the engine only when necessary and that is determined from driver and load...

Q: What should I know about using snow cables?

While your SUV is equipped with tires capable of handling both mud and snow, if you live in an area where significant wintertime snow accumulates, you’ll probably want to invest in a set of snow cables (not chains – it’s...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...