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What Is A Tread Wear Indicator?

tyre tread

Tyres are vital organs of a car/vehicle and are also prone to wear. Despite that, we mostly don’t pay our righteous attention to it. Having fine tyre tread is a crucial factor in determining the true safety, fuel efficiency and performance of your car. Generally, we Indians feel that ‘suraksha’ is only limited to having airbags in a car, certainly, it’s vital, but it’s half truth as far as comprehensive safety is concerned, a healthy tyre tread also has its share in safety. Without the apt tyre tread, the ability of your car tyre to keep an adequate grip on the road decreases resulting in a slip or inability to stop the vehicle at the desired moment. So how can we know about the tyre tread wear? For this, there is a tread wear indicator on the tyres itself that helps you to check the life of your car’s tyre.


Understanding the Tread Wear Indicator

Every tyre is carefully designed and engineered with a purpose of giving maximum road safety and performance. Ever noticed those straight lines on the tyres? Those are the grooves in the tread patterns which are designed to expel water in order to prevent hydroplaning and providing stability to the car in winter and monsoon conditions. In these grooves, you will find small shapes known as tread wear indicator. These are placed to indicate the legal wear out of your tyres. If after a long usage, you find that the tyre tread depth is perpendicular to the direction of the indicator, it’s time to replace your car tyres.

Although tread wear check should be performed every 2-4 months, however, it becomes necessary, when you are about to begin a long journey or driving on some adverse road conditions.


How to Check Tyre Tread Wear Indicators?


Tyre tread level indicator

Checking your tyre tread wear indicators is a simple process that can be done in just a few minutes. Here’s how to do it:


Step 1: Look for the wear indicators on your tyres. They are usually located in the grooves between the treads.


Step 2: Examine the wear indicators to see if they are visible. If the wear indicators are level with the surface of the tread, it is time to replace the tyre.


Step 3: Check the tread depth on your tyre using a tread depth gauge. The minimum allowable tread depth varies by country, but it is generally around 1.6mm. If your tyre tread depth is below the legal minimum, it is time to replace the tyre.


Step 4: Check the wear on your tyres regularly, at least once a month or before long trips.



Tyre tread wear indicators are an essential component of any tyre. They serve as a visual cue to let you know when it is time to replace your tyres. By checking your tyre tread wear indicators regularly, you can help ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive and that your tyres are in good condition. If you are not sure how to check your tyre tread wear indicators, your local tyre professional can help. They can also advise you on the best time to replace your tyres and recommend the right tyres for your vehicle.

Ankit verma

Author: Ankit verma

4 thoughts on “What Is A Tread Wear Indicator?”

  • You forgot to mention bicycle tyres as Continental are implementing them on their tyres. Other makes use indents and other ways such as sipes to indicate tyre wear. A lot of bicycle tyres just like vehicles tyres change pattern over time. Some construction tyres use a hidden central rib which only appears when the tyre is worn. Great article otherwise.

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