When winter tires are in excellent condition, they sweep sleet and slush away from the road, hold curves on slick roads, and grasp ice and brakes. However, their performance decreases as their tread depth and layers wear down over time. Examining the tread wear of your winter tires is an effective way to determine if they need replacing.

When is the Right Time to Replace Winter Tires?

Winter tires are created specifically for the cold, icy, snowy, and wet winter conditions. They have deeper tread depth than all-weather tires or season tires and are made to withstand low temperatures while maintaining maximum performance on the road.

The more worn-down snow tires become, the smaller their biting edges get, affecting braking and concern performance on ice and snow. Therefore, it’s crucial to replace tires, at least when they’re half-torn.

According to Transport Canada, winter tires worn close to 5/32″ shouldn’t be used on snow-covered roads. Many tire manufacturers also recommend replacing winter tires when the tire tread depth goes below 4/32″ in winter. Extreme tread depth wear makes the tires bald and a safety hazard on the road.

Brand-new winter tires should have a tread depth of around 12/32″.

How to Check Tread Depth/Tire Wear

We will discuss three simple ways to check tire change and tread wear indicators to watch out for, especially in winter.

  1. Using a Toonie

Insert a toonie into one of the shallower tread blocks. If the tread touches the bear claws of the toonie, you have new tires with excellent grip and treads. If the tread frame conceals only the silver section of the toonie, the tires are about half worn.

The treads of damaged tires barely even touch the (‘CANADA’ or ‘DOLLARS’) letters on the toonie. These tires have almost zero snow traction and are not recommended for winter driving.

  1. Use Tire Tread Wear Indicators

Some tire manufacturers incorporate treadwear gauges into their tires to allow drivers to know the condition of their tire treads. They are small, raised bars found on your tire grooves that indicate the minimal tread depth allowed. We recommend changing your tires immediately if there’s an indication of tread wear.

  1. Using a Tire Tread Depth Gauge

These tools are a quick and simple way to determine if your winter tires are healthy or need replacing. For convenient access, drivers can also find tire tread depth meters at petrol stations. Simply insert the gauge’s pin into the thickest tread groove until its foot is parallel to the tire. You should be good to go if the number reads around 7″ and 12/32″.

Get the Best Winter Tires in Canada at TreadNation

TreadNation makes your winter tire shopping experience faster and easier for every customer. Take advantage of our TreadNation program benefits for exclusive deals. Here, you can buy tires at cost, store tires, and get free tire rotation for the cold weather and icy roads. Book an appointment with us today.