The performance and safety of your tires will depend on the quality and the depth of your tread. With diminishing tread depth your properties will gradually decline. Once you reach the threshold value of 5/32 inches the properties go below the recommended safety level. This is more important for winter tires as they have to deal with snow and slush, so they need to rely on the depth of the tread.
Every season when you change from all-season tires to winter ones, you should always rotate the position so that they alternate if they are put on the front or the rear axle. This is to even out any difference in wear, so that they both will wear out at a similar rate. If you end up having big differences between the tires the car’s handling will worsen so that the car will be more difficult to control when you take corners or if you lose control and try to regain control. This is why it is safer to always try to keep the tread depth in a similar level between the tires. The same goes when you purchase new tires, you should always try to get a full set.
Measuring the tread depth is an important step in the maintenance of your tires. Initially you might not to do it so often, but as you approach the threshold and to identify difference between the tires it is important to monitor. In addition to measuring the tread depth you also need to check the tire pressure on a regular basis. The pressure is dependent on the outdoor temperature, so if you have big changes in the temperature it can be worth to check the pressure. Low pressure impacts the driving performance and it increases the rolling resistance. High rolling resistance leads to higher wear and also higher fuel consumption, so that this can get costly at the same time as it lowers your safety and performance.
Checking thread depth and tire pressure can easily be done when you stop at the gas station to refuel your car. I would recommend to check the tire pressure at least once a month and more often if you see any deviations. You should also check the condition of your tires to see if they have any visible damages. Look for bulges on the side of the tires and any visible cuts or cracks. If you find any problems, you should visit your tire service station immediately to ask their opinion of the problem. They can often quickly fix problems it if isn’t deemed to be safe to continue to drive with the same tire. They can also sell you a single used tire with similar tread depth that you have on your other tires, so you don’t have to combine one new tire with all the old tires.
For more information regarding new tires once your old tires reaches the limit of tread depth, visit: www.nokiantires.com