Let’s face it - drag racer or not, your tyres receive a lot of wear. If they’re starting to look worn, don’t grip as well as they used to or are just getting old - they may need replacing.

Don’t take my word for it though, check out Tyre Review’s very own Leeson and Jared in the video clip below to learn more.

How long a tyre lasts depends on various factors, including: 
  • The design of the tyre (so choose quality) 
  • Driver habits - (eg sudden braking, hard cornering) 
  • Climate (extreme temperatures, regular exposure to snow and ice, getting baked by the sun - that kind of thing) 
  • Road conditions (damn potholes!) 
  • Care given to your tyres (there’s some links at the bottom of the page to our other articles to learn more!) 

A good tyre tread means your vehicle handles better on the road. To get a bit technical on you, tyre treads assist with gripping on wet surfaces by clearing the water from the tyre and allowing maximum contact with the road. The less tread your tyres have, the more the tyre’s performance is compromised.
The bottom line is, insufficient tread is illegal and as dangerous as arm wrestling a drop bear. Tyre tread depth shouldn’t fall below 1.6mm. The legal limit is 1.5mm. Once your tyres hit this mark, your vehicle becomes unroadworthy, and no one wants to be dealing with that. If you drive on wet or slick surfaces often then you’re better off having more depth. Check your owner’s manual to find out what your car maker recommends.

The easiest way to check how much life is left in your tyres is to use a tread depth indicator. These don’t cost much and can be purchased from your local car part store (from around $10). Of course, you could always use the old ‘20c coin hack’ - place a 20c coin into the tread of your tyre - if it doesn’t reach the bill of the platypus that means there’s less than 3mm of tread remaining. Nifty, huh?
Safe Tread Depth using a 20 Cent Coin

But wait, there’s more! You can also assess the tread on your tyres by locating the wear markers - small blocks of rubber in the tread that are often marked by arrows on the upper sidewall to help you find them (as shown below). All tyres have these. When the bars are level with the surface of the tread, they’re worn to the legal limit and ready for replacement.
Tread Wear Bars

Even if your tyres have sufficient tread, age is also a factor  when assessing when to replace them. Tyre rubber breaks down over time, so if your tyres are more than five years old they’ll need inspecting by a professional once a year.