Tire wear indicator

Saw this picture, pretty neat. Useful for folks who can’t understand a wear bar.replace%20tire


Should be standard on all tires but with larger letters.

That is pretty neat, but that tire needed replacement a while back and it never happened!

That tire is unsafe! It has been driven on in an unsafe condition for some time.

It should have worn through that layer of tread and now be reading, "You were told to replace this tire, you stupid twit! DO IT and see somebody about an alignment!"


Would be better running across the tread, in white letters, every 6 inches.
All other drivers would see a white blur and know to keep away.

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Ever wonder how they do that?

That was photo-shopped or someone used a hot tool to spell that out on the tire. I don’t thin there is any way to mold that into the tread (@CapriRacer weight in, please) to appear later.

Notice the wear bars are still visible and are not at the same level as the tread. That means they are still legal to drive on. They ARE wearing funny as the shoulder at the top of the page is worn smooth.

I see the words but I can’t spot the wear bars. Help me out, please, pointing out where to look as furthering my education. :slightly_smiling_face:

From the “R” in “REPLACE”, go a short distance up and left or a short distance down and left. I think that’s them.

Thank you. I wondered if that might be the wear bars. But I’m looking on a phone screen and can’t clearly see if it is wear bars or small rock grit in the tread. I’m familiar with the wear bars on my car’s tires though.

No, not photoshopped. I’ve seen that on tires too.

In fact, one manufacturer, I believe it’s either General or Nokian, actually has 80% 60% 40% etc etched into the center rib of the tread. Next time I see one come in I’ll take a pic.

Wow, I’d really like to know how they do that! A dissolving solid for the letters in the rubber? Molded on the underside of the tread cap?? Call out to CapriRacer again!

That is for real. Let’s see if I can find it.

Ah. It’s a General Tire. Here’s a link:


As far as molding is concerned: Nowadays radial tires use segmented molds, which pull away from the tire - not the other way around.

The wear bars are to the left of “REPLACE”. If I remember correctly, the “MENT” in replacement, and the word “Monitor” disappear at 4/32nds of an inch. The Tread wear Indicator (TWI) is required to appear at 2/32nds.


Now I’d like to see a “NO SNOW USE” indicator added to show at the proper depth.

How about the Continental Extreme Contact DWS
Link: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Continental&tireModel=ExtremeContact+DWS

This all assumes that people actually look at their tires. The people that need it the most probably don’t.

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Wear bars are in the groove part of the tread. The are little raised sections as wide as the groove by about a 1/4" in length.

I can see them in 4 places (grooves) across the width of that tire (forming a row across the tread grooves just to the left of the “R” in REPLACE).

Theoretically, when the tire tread wears down to the height of the wear bars (so they are no longer recessed, but rather level with the tread), the tire is worn out and needs replacement.

One must not rely on wear bars on just one section of tire, but rather all the way around and across the tire. If just one wear bar is even with tread then the tire is scrap.

Better bet is to buy a tread gauge for about 5 bucks, learn to use it, and measure the most worn point of a tire.

Please let us know if you’re still not seeing it. It’s understandable. Could be the description needs some refining.

They are more noticeable in this photo.


@common_sense_answer Thank you. :slightly_smiling_face: The second photo helps. That’s what I thought to look for. Just was having trouble clearly seeing them in the OP’s post. It’s partly due to the phone screen I’m using to read and look.

You’re welcome Marnet! They are visible even on brand new tires, but are well below the tread surface. When the tire wears sufficiently then they become closer to the surface until they are flush with the tread. At that point the tires are considered to be completely worn out. I don’t wait that long to replace tires.

And again, one needs to find the area of the tire with the most amount of wear and use that as the area to determine wear. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and tire is only as good as the most worn part.

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Gotta agree with that. You’d have to get on your hands and knees with a trouble light. Folks doing that don’t need the message. What would really be fun is a red or blue colored band of rubber that would be exposed at 2 or 3/32. Then everyone could see if the tires needed to be replaced at a glance.

Bing, how about… some imbedded lettering (as in original discussion post photo) utilizing some imbedded ink?

Then when the tires are worn out and the owner/operator/driver neglects them, the tires could print a message up and down the driveway that could help make the problem more apparent. One possible message could say, "I SUCK AT TIRE SAFETY MAINTENANCE!"