Here’s how you can use a coin to check if you need to change your car tire

Tire performance is critical to maintaining vehicle safety, performance and efficiency. But at some point, your tires will wear down and lose traction. If you’re wondering when you should start replacing your tires, a few tips can help you figure it out.

Check tire tread depth

The main function of the tire tread is to increase adhesion to the moving surface, create enough friction so that the wheels can move continuously and help protect the tire from wear and damage outside when in contact with the road surface.


When the tire tread reaches the 0.16cm wear threshold, tire performance will significantly reduce and is no longer safe. It can cause hydroplaning or loss of control in rainy or snowy conditions. If you feel like your tires are almost time to be replaced, take them to the experts for an inspection.

Replace the tire if the tread bar is level with the tire tread

Most tires have tread wear bars. As your tires wear, the bars become flush with the tread. When these wear bars appear on the tread, the tread has worn down to 0.16cm and needs to be replaced immediately.

Note, when you look at tire wear lines, remember to look at the entire wheel surface, not just one particular spot.

Check tire wear by inserting a coin into it

Take a coin and place it vertically between the tire’s tread grooves. You can determine the tire’s wear based on the depth at which the coin is in the tread groove.

Use a coin and move in the tread grooves of the remaining tires, and if their depth is the same, there is nothing to worry about regarding the condition of your car’s tires. If you notice a difference in tread depth, it’s a sign that your tires are wearing out.

Use a tire tread depth gauge

To measure tire tread depth more accurately, use a tread depth gauge. Use a tread gauge according to the manufacturer’s instructions to check the tread depth in the main tread groove and in several locations above and around the tire. The tire should be replaced if the depth reaches less than 0.16cm.

Get your vehicle serviced if you notice unusual tire wear

Regardless of the reason, uneven tire wear is a sign that you need to get your vehicle serviced. If your tires are wearing unevenly or they are wearing much faster than expected, have your suspension inspected by a competent tire shop and repaired if necessary before replacing your tires.

Improper alignment or worn suspension components can significantly reduce tire life. Rotate tires front to rear in pairs to avoid uneven tire wear.

Check for bulges or irregularities in the sidewall

A bulge on the sidewall indicates that the tire’s inner rigid frame is likely damaged and cracked. The cause of this condition could be driving over a large pothole, driving over a curb, or driving with low tire pressure.

If bulging or other abnormalities appear in this location, you must replace it immediately, regardless of the tire condition. Never continue driving on a tire with a sidewall bulge; this can significantly increase the chance of sudden tire failure or blowout while on the road.

Replace your tires at least every 6 years

Check the 4-digit code on the tire sidewall to find out its age. No matter what country you’re in, most government transportation departments place four-digit numbers on the sidewall of each tire. The first 2 numbers represent the week of manufacture, and the last 2 numbers represent the year. For example, 08/12 means your tire was manufactured in the 12th week of 2008. If the tire is more than 6 years old, replace it.

Although the maximum lifespan of tires is 10 years, we should replace them sooner than the maximum allowed time.


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