How to tell if you need new summer tires

All car tires have a limited lifespan, regardless of their quality. That said, it can be risky to wear down your tires until they’re completely bald. At OCTO, we strive to make sure your vehicle is 100% safe when you hit the road. If you want to avoid dangerous skidding and increase your stopping distance, it’s important to ensure your summer tires are in top shape. This article will help you determine if they need to be replaced.

Measure the tread depth

In Quebec, your tires must have a tread depth of at least 1.6 mm (2/32″). However, many experts, including CAA-Quebec and OCTO, strongly advise against driving on tires with a tread depth of less than 4.8 mm (6/32″), as this could compromise your safety.

A quick and easy way to measure the tread depth of your tires is to use a quarter. Simply insert the 25-cent coin into one of the grooves between the tread with the caribou’s head facing downward. If you can see the tip of the caribou’s nose, your tire’s tread is worn down.

While the quarter test will give you a good indication of your tires’ level of wear, we recommend using a tire tread gauge for the most accurate reading. Remember to insert the gauge into several places on each tire to get an accurate idea of their overall condition. The lowest reading is the one you need to remember.

Locate the manufacture date

Car tires generally last about five years. If you don’t know the date your car tires were manufactured, look for the DOT symbol moulded into the sidewall. The DOT symbol contains a four-digit code. The first two digits indicate what week of the year the tire was made, and the last two digits indicate the year. For example, the DOT code 1317 means that the tire was manufactured on the 13th week of 2017.

Look for signs of uneven wear

Uneven wear can compromise the life and performance of your tires. That’s why it’s important to check if any areas, such as the outer edges, are wearing down faster than others. In general, uneven tire wear can be caused by:

  • Bad wheel alignment
  • Improper tire inflation
  • Unbalanced wheels or a worn-out suspension

It’s a good idea to check the tires on your car periodically to see how they’re faring.

Safe and efficient summer tires at OCTO

Did you know that OCTO is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021? If you want your summer tires to be inspected or replaced, ask your neighbourhood OCTO mechanic for advice. They’d be happy to help you find a set of tires that suit your driving needs. Contact your nearest OCTO location to make an appointment.

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