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Visual Tyre Inspection

Inspect your tyres routinely

"Is it time to change tyres? Learn how to check your tread depth and inspect for damages. "

How to check your tyre tread wear levels


Because it’s the only part of the vehicle that grips the road, the depth of tread on your tyres is very important for your and your vehicle’s safety. Tyre tread signals the health of the tyre. Driving with low tread depth increases the potential for tyre failure, aquaplaning and increase the braking distance.

Measuring the tread depth is very simple. The minimum tread depth for a tyre is 1.6mm. You can follow two simple steps to check if the tread depth level is within limits:

Step 1 - Access the tyre tread

The first step in checking tyre tread depth is to get good access to your tyres.

  • Park on a wide, flat and even surface in a safe place off the public highway with the engine switched off and put the keys in your pocket.
  • Put on the handbrake (parking brake) and engage first gear (for manual gearboxes) or park (for automatics).
  • Once you have clear and safe access to the tyres you can begin the inspection.

Step 2 - Check the tread using the wear indicators

If you look around the tread carefully, you will see a bar of rubber which goes across the main grooves of the tread and isn't part of the regular pattern. This is the wear indicator. A MichelinMan figure on the shoulder of each of our tyres shows the location of the wear indicators. If the rubber is at the same level than these wear indicators, the tyre has raised the legal limits of 1.6mm or could even be below it. It is time to change it !

Additional Information

  • Is it safe to drive with tyre at the minimum tread depth (1.6mm)? No. Independent tests done in the UK by Auto Express in 2006 show that at 1.6mm, the braking distance is increased by 40% in the wet compared to tyres with 3mm tread depth. Results were similar when performing tests on grip, handling aquaplaning and braking distance on dry roads. NB: Test conducted using the same car, under the same conditions with the same driver.
  • Can I drive more than 4 years with my set of tyre if the tread depth is above 1.6mm? No. Generally speaking, tyres do not last more than 4 years. Thus, whatever the tread depth at this stage, you should change your tyres.


To make sure your car's tread is road ready, watch the video below .