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What Are Tire Wear Bars and What Do They Tell You?

What Are Tire Wear Bars and What Do They Tell You? 

Tires are a common sight for car owners, and sometimes, they can get overlooked. Have you ever looked at your tires and noticed that they have these bars on them?

Tire wear bars, also known as tread wear bars or tread wear indicator bars, aren’t just a part of a tire’s design. They play a crucial role in determining tire depth or tire wear, which, in turn, helps determine a tire’s capacity to maintain a grip on the road. Tire wear bars also help you determine whether you need to have your tires replaced.

What Are Tire Wear Bars?

Tires come in different sizes, which can affect their performance, compatibility with your vehicle, and how they can suit your driving needs. Tire wear bars, in a general sense, help you indicate the health and performance of your tires and whether they meet the legal requirements for tire tread depth.

Each tire has a set of indicator bars, usually six or more. These small, raised bars can be found within your tires’ grooves and are placed at different points on your tires, allowing you to check the evenness of tire tread wear. Each bar is raised to 2/32”, which is considered a tire’s hazard point and is the legal limit for the lowest tread depth. Note that this guideline may vary from one state to another. While tear wear bars don’t exactly show how you can measure your tire treads, they provide you with a visual indicator of whether your tires need to be changed. 

When you notice that your tread has reached the level of the tire wear bars, it’s a clear indication that your tires need to be changed. Finding the right tire for your needs can be challenging. Wheels Direct has a broad selection of tires and tire sets. We can get your new tires delivered to you or to your preferred installer as soon as the next day, so you can get on the road quickly and safely. Having a hard time choosing an installer? We’re here to help you out. We have over 7,500 recommended independent installers who are ready to install your new tires for you. 

Why Are Tire Wear Bars Necessary?

Tire treads are an important but often overlooked component of tires. They’re an important factor for safety and performance as they provide traction on the road. Additionally, tire treads provide grip on wet roads by allowing water to escape from the grooves. 

Tire wear bars let you see how much tread depth is left. They also serve to provide stability to treads, enabling them to have a better grip on different road conditions. This, in turn, gives you better control when driving, especially on wet or icy conditions.  

What Can Happen If You Don’t Check Your Tires?

If you don’t periodically check your tires, they can become bare. Bare tires don’t do much to provide traction, which can be dangerous when you’re on the road. Bald or worn-out tires are unsafe, even when you’re driving on dry roads. 

Moreover, bare tires are more prone to excess friction, producing too much heat, which can lead to a blowout. Tire treads allow air to flow between your tire’s grooves, helping mitigate the effects of excess friction. Having a good amount of tire tread depth also reduces the risk of hydroplaning, difficulty in driving in wet or icy roads, and sudden blowouts on the road. Having sufficient tire tread depth also helps you meet legal guidelines, thus preventing you from incurring any legal violations.

New tires have the optimal amount of tire tread depth. Perform a tire check regularly to see whether or not they’re up to standard. If you need a new set of tires, Wheels Direct can supply you with factory automobile tires that meet or exceed OEM factory specifications. 

How to Check Your Tire Treads

There are several ways to measure tire tread, apart from tire wear bars. 

  • The penny test

The penny test is a simple way to check the tread on your tires. Take a penny or a quarter, head-side down and insert it into one of the tread grooves.  If you can see the top of Lincoln’s or Washington’s head, then this indicates that you need to change your tires.

  • Use a tread depth gauge

Using a tread depth gauge is a more accurate way to measure your tire tread depth. You can purchase a tread depth gauge from most automotive or retail stores.  You can opt for a manual or a digital gauge, however, the latter makes measuring easier as it shows the tread measurement on its display.

  • Check with your mechanic

The best way to check your tire treads is to have a mechanic take a look at your tires and their condition.

If you see that your tire is worn, it’s time to have them replaced for your safety and peace of mind. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you get the best quality tires for your car.

Changing your tire size can be confusing at the best of times, especially if you’re on the lookout for a new car or looking to change your tire size on your existing vehicle.