Torque Cars

How much tread do you have on your tires

Discussion in 'Wheels, suspension and tyres' started by billyo, 13 February 2009.

  1. billyo

    billyo Track Warrior

    Messages:
    541
    How much tread depth is there on your tires and do you wait for it to wear right down before you replace them?

    A friend of mine says he only changes his tyres at the MOT and he currently has one totally bald and the others only have about 1mm of tread left on them. I told him hes and idiot but he says loads of people do this.

    Can you get fined for illegal tires?
     
  2. pgarner

    pgarner TC ModFather Moderator

    Messages:
    16,521
    From:
    Lockerbie, SW Scotland
    Car:
    Octy smoke machine
    Yup 3 points and a £60 for each tyre under the legal limit of 1.6mm.
    and id tell your mate to get them sorted ASAP as around here theres been a crackdown on them due to the bad weather. remember the less tread youve got the less grip your going to have on the ground unless its bone dry (remember the roads are greasy for a few days after rain as well)

    wouldnt be supprised if he does crsh if the insurance would pay out as well if they are bald

    on my 17" have around 2mm on 2tyres and around 3.5-4 mm on the other 2. they are currently sitting in the games room until i can get new ones for them.

    16" have around 5mm all round.
     
  3. old-git

    old-git Moderator

    Messages:
    9,182
    From:
    Essex
    Car:
    Elan & Robin Hood
    Roads are actually more slippery in the summer than winter. During the summer the fine grit always present on the surface reacts with the small amount of rain and acts as an abrasive polish, such as T-Cut. Also the lack of rain (relatively) fails to wash off grease and rubber, so when it rains after a dry spell roads can be very slippery.

    During winter months the water and detritus acts in a more abrasive fashion and clears far more of the grease and rubber from the surface. So, after rain, it is safer in the winter :) - Unless it is freezing!

    Tyre grip falls off dramatically once you get below 2mm. NEVER let your tyres get anywhere near to the legal limit if you value your, and your families, lives. Only idiots take chances just to save a few quid.

    If you only change your tyres when they reach the legal minimum, you will only save buying one or two sets of tyres over your driving lifetime (which may be quite short if following this course). Is it worth the risk? It's the same sort of mentality that makes people drive on sidelights only.
     
    Last edited: 13 February 2009
  4. pgarner

    pgarner TC ModFather Moderator

    Messages:
    16,521
    From:
    Lockerbie, SW Scotland
    Car:
    Octy smoke machine
    cheers for clearing that bit up OG didnt relise that
     
  5. hemingway

    hemingway Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    173
    From:
    huddersfield
    Car:
    hyundai coupe se
    A few mm still.Always change mine when it reachs the little markers.Its not worth it running them down,if anything happens accidents and youve got a few bald ones or even 1 then the fault will be thrown straight on to you.Because your car will be classed as road unworthy by the police or if the insurances investigate it.
     
  6. old-git

    old-git Moderator

    Messages:
    9,182
    From:
    Essex
    Car:
    Elan & Robin Hood
    This seems to explain tyre tread depth pretty well





    Tread Depth Law and The Effect of Tread Depth on Tyre Performance

    Current tread depth legislation requires that car tyres must have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread in a continuous band throughout the central ¾ of the tread width and over the whole circumference of the tyre.

    However, despite the law, it is generally recognised in the tyre industry that the legal limit is an extreme. Many tyre manufacturers state that they design tyres to function as well at 1.6mm as they do at 9mm (the accepted normal tread depth when new). That is a surprising statement for any tyre company to make, but some have said just that.

    So, if a tyre performs as well at 1.6mm as it does at 9mm, what happens at 1.5mm? Is there a sudden drop in performance? Actually there isn't, because industry testing has shown that when a tyre reaches around 3.5mm in tread depth, the level of performance in the wet, in particular, starts to deteriorate, as does its dry handling characteristics.

    The recommended point for change is accepted Europe-wide as being 3mm. So much so that ministerial cars in the UK have their tyres changed at, you guessed it, 3mm.

    Why then the current legal limit of 1.6mm? There are several arguments against the change, some of which you may question. One is that the sudden change from 1.6mm to 3mm would have a serious impact on the pockets of hundreds of thousands of motorists who are already struggling to keep their cars on the road. Another is that it would require changing all the tyre moulds in use to increase the tyre wear indicator depth to 3mm. And of course Europe plays a part, as there would not be universal implementation of 3mm tread depth, requiring double standards in production and possibly in policing.

    The reality is that since tyres are now a global commodity it would almost require a global adoption of 3mm as a minimum. It doesn't take an Einstein to counter the arguments against 3mm, but until the legislation is in place you can make up your own mind, scrape by on 1.6mm, or be safe on 3mm. Your choice.
     
  7. Country Bumpkin

    Country Bumpkin Track Warrior

    Messages:
    735
    From:
    Norfolk
    Car:
    GTO T.T.
    My opinion, for what it's worth, is that if you are caught with bald/illegal tyres you should be banned for a period of, let's say 12 months. If you cause an accident through this or a similar, easy self check scenario you should be banned for life.
    I'm sure people will come on and say, "What about company cars/vehicles etc ?" Well, it is the responsibility of the driver to check that a vehicle is in a roadworthy condition prior to driving it, no-one else. A company can only be held liable to such a degree, the onus is upon the driver, the same as a private vehicle.
    A driver can and is within his/her rights to refuse to drive a vehicle which is deemed dangerous.
     
  8. old-git

    old-git Moderator

    Messages:
    9,182
    From:
    Essex
    Car:
    Elan & Robin Hood
  9. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    I check mine regularly for pressures, also a visual look is worthy of the time it takes. Don't just look at the edges, look and feel across the tyre for uneven wear, feathering of tread blocks etc. Once a week is sensible, although a cursory walk around the car is sensible nearly every time you use it.

    1.6mm is FAR TOO LOW in my opinion. I always change pairs or fours at a time once around or below 3mm. Uneven wear should be investigated, although some feathering on outside edge of nearside fronts is to be expected if you're heavy on roundabouts etc.

    What is also of concern is the ten year old car on original tyres that still have 5mm plus of tread left. The rubber itself will be unstable now, despite the tread being adequate the whole tyre casing is now fragile and might well part company with the carcass without warning. REPLACE 'EM ASAP
     
  10. Country Bumpkin

    Country Bumpkin Track Warrior

    Messages:
    735
    From:
    Norfolk
    Car:
    GTO T.T.
    Something else to consider is when cars are lowered and have after market rims with wider tyres on, it's not always simple to check them properly with a cursory glance. They do need a thorough inspection.
    Badly aligned or worn suspension and components can cause wear on the inner/outer egdes of tyres. I have seen a few cars with tyres that on a quick view appeared to be in very good condition but have actually been down to the wire braid on the inner edges, not visible simply due to the width of the tyre/rim.
    Incorrect tyre pressures will also bring about an early demise to some otherwise good rubber as well as effect the handling of the car, as will the above mentioned worn etc suspension.
    Most of it is common sense, regular checks of the whole tyre and pressures can save a lot of money and pain.
    Cheap tyres may not be the best on the market but they are better than running on rags if a tight budget is the dominant factor.
     
  11. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    Something else to consider is when cars are lowered and have after market rims with wider tyres on, it's not always simple to check them properly with a cursory glance. They do need a thorough inspection.
    Badly aligned or worn suspension and components can cause wear on the inner/outer egdes of tyres. I have seen a few cars with tyres that on a quick view appeared to be in very good condition but have actually been down to the wire braid on the inner edges, not visible simply due to the width of the tyre/rim.

    I think you'll find that I have already covered this and therefore I quote:

    "Don't just look at the edges, look and feel across the tyre for uneven wear, feathering of tread blocks etc."
     
  12. pgarner

    pgarner TC ModFather Moderator

    Messages:
    16,521
    From:
    Lockerbie, SW Scotland
    Car:
    Octy smoke machine
    they did, all 4 cars were sent out with the 3 mm tyres then an average was taken for each car. then they swaped them for the 1.6mm tyres and did the runs again before taking an average
     
  13. old-git

    old-git Moderator

    Messages:
    9,182
    From:
    Essex
    Car:
    Elan & Robin Hood
    I must watch it again with the sound on - watched it at work :)
     
  14. Miniman

    Miniman Torque Junkie

    Messages:
    125
    From:
    Cambridge,uk
    Car:
    Toyota starlet
    Got 5mm on the front 3mm on the rear.
     
  15. Country Bumpkin

    Country Bumpkin Track Warrior

    Messages:
    735
    From:
    Norfolk
    Car:
    GTO T.T.
    I do offer my most humble apologies if i have repeated your brief description but it doesn't mention any of the causes of tyre wear, which is probably quite important to some of the younger generation on here as a lot of it is possibly new to them.
    I should also have mentioned that when running your hand over unseen tyre tread, especially inner edges, wear a light glove or move the hands very slowly. If metal braid is protruding from the tyre, it bloody hurts when it pierces the skin. it's better to get it stuck in a glove than your hand ;).
     
  16. pgarner

    pgarner TC ModFather Moderator

    Messages:
    16,521
    From:
    Lockerbie, SW Scotland
    Car:
    Octy smoke machine
    hey yeah that does hurt, even worse is trying to get some metal shards out of a finger
     
  17. Otsego

    Otsego New member

    Messages:
    6
    Car:
    SLK300
    Guys, im not very good at tyres but i remember i read somewhere that actually bald tyre give u more grip and respond in the DRY because of more contact area but terrible in the WET no goove to repel water?
     
  18. pgarner

    pgarner TC ModFather Moderator

    Messages:
    16,521
    From:
    Lockerbie, SW Scotland
    Car:
    Octy smoke machine
    yeah they, dependng on the componds used, can give more grip on the dry this is why drag tyres have next to no grip on then.
    but how many truly dry days do we get
     
  19. Country Bumpkin

    Country Bumpkin Track Warrior

    Messages:
    735
    From:
    Norfolk
    Car:
    GTO T.T.
    Sorry but that's total and utter #####. Bald tyres are dangerous in any condition. If they are bald there's nearly no rubber left on them which means that they will overheat quicker and loose grip and most likely explode.
    Drag/race tyres [slicks] are designed from totally different compounds of rubber, they also have a correct thickness of rubber on them for the application at hand and have a shorter lifespan, mainly due to the ultra sticky compound which deteriorates quickly.
    If you genuinely do think that bald tyres are better, by all means drive on them but please, nowhere near me, my family or my friends.;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 15 February 2009
  20. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    A slick tyre is very different to a worn treaded one. Don't confuse the two
     
  21. Otsego

    Otsego New member

    Messages:
    6
    Car:
    SLK300
    Ok, get it.

    Thanks!:D
     
  22. obi_waynne

    obi_waynne Administrator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    41,306
    From:
    Deal, Kent UK
    Car:
    A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
    A good thread guys, I've missed out on quite a debate. I just changed my rears at 1.8 and 2mm respectively and I really notice the difference on roundabouts. I didn't think they were too bad but the wear was on the inside edge mainly (I guess from where they had been on the fronts.)

    Its not worth taking chances with Tyres - you can have the best brakes in the world but if your tyres are naff then you are in trouble.
     
  23. pgarner

    pgarner TC ModFather Moderator

    Messages:
    16,521
    From:
    Lockerbie, SW Scotland
    Car:
    Octy smoke machine
    sorry i did get this wrong but i did say depending on the compounds.
    didnt realise a bald tyre overheated much quicker than normal.
     
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