How to Assess the Health of Your Tyres

Tyres incur constant wear and tear whenever you drive, slow down, or stop your vehicle. They can even suffer wear and tear while leaving your car parked outside.

For this reason, you need to regularly monitor the condition of your tyres to ensure they are safe for the road. Ensuring you have healthy and robust tyres could be the very thing that prevents you from having an accident in the future.

Here are the top six ways to assess the health status of your vehicle’s tyres:

1) Check the Depth of the Tyre Treads

All tyre treads have vertical grooves running in between the elevated areas. Measuring the depth of the tread grooves is essential for determining their level of safety for the road.

Australian law requires car tyre treads to have at least 1.5mm of depth on all the tyres. That is the minimum amount of tread depth needed for tyres to grip the road safely and securely. If the treads have less than 1.5mm of depth, the driver will have less control over the steering wheel and a higher risk of getting into an accident.

If you want to be on the safe side, it would be better to replace a car tyre after its tread depth reaches 3mm. Having more tread depth than required is always better, especially when driving on wet or rainy roads.

How to Measure the Depth

You don’t need to be a car expert to figure out the depth of your tyre treads. Fortunately, modern car tyres have something called tread wear indicators manufactured into them. These are little bars in the grooves of the treads which can help you determine whether the depth is too low.

Basically, when the little bars become too flat inside the grooves from excessive wear and tear, then it is time to replace the tyres. You may even see “TWI” inside the grooves next to the bars. Once the bars are at the same level as the TWI letters, it is time to replace the tyres.

If you have trouble using the TWI method to determine the safety of your tyre treads, an alternative method is the coin test. Grab a 20c coin and stick it into the groove of the tyre tread that you wish to test. If the tread goes past the platypus image on the coin, that means the tread has more than 3mm of depth. However, if the tread falls under the platypus, the depth is under 3mm. That means you should replace the tyre.

Car Tyre

2) Check the Tyre Pressure

Make it a habit to check the tyre pressure of all your tyres regularly. Having adequate tyre pressure can help your tyres grip the road better while driving. Not only that, but the tyres will suffer less wear and tear if they consistently have the right amount of pressure in them.

You can buy an inexpensive tyre pressure gauge at most major retail stores and auto parts stores. Just stick the top of the gauge onto the air valve stem of the tyre to get an instant pressure reading. The sidewall markings of the tyre should indicate the recommended amount of tyre pressure needed for it.

If the gauge shows the pressure is less than the recommended amount, you will need to add more air to the tyre by using a commercial or home air compressor.

3) Check the Sidewalls of the Tyres

Australians are known for taking off-road trips onto dirt paths. If you often drive off-road in your vehicle, the sidewalls of the tyres will suffer extra wear and tear. The sidewall represents everything you see on the front of a tyre, such as the letters and numbers.

One easy way to tell if you have worn-out tyres is to see if the letters and numbers have faded down on the sidewalls. If you have trouble reading those letters and numbers, chances are that your tyres need to be replaced.

4) Conduct Tyre Rotations Periodically

Front tyre treads wear faster than rear tyre treads. For this reason, you should frequently rotate your front and rear tyres to distribute the wear evenly amongst them.

Rotating the tyres at least once every 6 to 12 months is preferable.

5) Align the Wheels Properly

Wheel alignments ensure that all four tyres are angled and positioned on the ground evenly. Maintaining aligned wheels on your car will reduce wear on its tyre treads and make steering more stable. Even if you get your tyre rotations done regularly, you still need to have aligned wheels to reduce wear as well.

6) Drive Carefully and Steadily

How you drive and steer has a significant impact on the wear and tear of your tyres. For example, if you make a lot of sharp or sudden turns with the steering wheel, it will put more wear and tear on the rubber treads of the tyres.

On the other hand, careful and steady driving puts less wear and tear on the tyres. So, try to drive carefully by turning the steering wheel slowly and gracefully when making turns or changing lanes.



Measuring the depth of your tyre treads and adding air to your tyres are things you can do yourself at home. But if you need to align your wheels or rotate or replace your tyres, you will probably need to take your vehicle to a professional auto shop for servicing. They have the experience and equipment to perform these jobs quickly and efficiently.

Furthermore, be sure to add a spare tyre to the trunk of your car if you don’t have one in there already. Most new cars come with spare tyres, but not all used cars do. So, if you don’t have one in the trunk of your vehicle, you can purchase one at an auto parts store. Either that or you can visit the dealer that sold you the car and see if they have a spare tyre that fits the make and model of your vehicle.