With many Ontarians travelling on vacation this month, it’s time to consider your tires.
Having old, worn down tires on your car can be incredibly dangerous. It will seriously increase the risk of hydroplaning and make stopping on anything but a perfectly dry road perilous. What’s worse is that it can be hard to tell just when a tire needs replacing. The difference in look between a safe tire and a dangerous one can be very slight.
To help with this, we have compiled a list of simple checks that will help you see if you should be replacing your tires.
How long have you owned them?
The simplest way to know when to chuck your scrap tires is the amount of time you’ve owned them. With most tires it is recommended that you replace them every six years; so if you’ve owned your current ones longer than that, it might be time to recycle them.
The absolute maximum time recommended by many companies is 10 years and at that point your tires are considered dangerous and are in fact illegal in many countries. Tire safety is important to many governments.
The Penny Test
One of the oldest and simplest ways of measuring your tread depth is by using a traditional Canadian penny. The penny test is conducted by placing a penny in the tire groove with the Queen’s crown facing down. If you can see the top of the Queen’s crown, you need to replace your tires
Most tires sold in North America come with a ‘Tread wear bar’ that runs along your tire. When the tread of your tires is even to this bar it is time to replace them.
Depth Indicator or Local Tire Shop
Probably the most accurate way to know just how safe your tires are is to use a specialized tool made specifically to measure your tires tread. These tools can be found at any local tire shop and are very inexpensive.
If you want the absolute safest choice though, go to a local auto garage or tire shop and have them inspect your tires. They’ll know the best time to replace them and have the most accurate measurements. They’ll let you know when to scrap your tires.
Meet the Team
If you would like to learn more about tire maintenance, recycling or products made from recycled tires, come out and meet Ontario Tire Stewardship’s Tire Life Check (TLC) team, which is travelling around Ontario until September. They can show you how to check your tires and provide you with a handy tread depth indicator or tire pressure gauge that you can take on your next road trip. To find out where the TLC team will be, visit our events page.
Tires need to be replaced? Click here to recycle your old ones for free!