Tread depth

The ““experts”” are saying 2/32 for legal, 4/32 for rain, 6/32 inch depth is needed for snow.
What do you think about the snow figure? The tires “look good to me”…it seems a shame to trash them…

It would be a greater shame to wreck your vehicle because of bad tires. A lot of tires look good but they are simply worn out.

Winter tires have a softer tread and it willl wear out before the tires start “looking bad”. When tires look bad they are usually DANGEROUS!

If you live in snow country, change them now. If you have occasional snow, keep them for a little while longer.

I agree with the ‘experts’, both for rain and snow. Folks I know have had accidents due to hydroplaning on ‘legal’, but very worn, tires.

I may have been unclear. My tires are at 6 or 7 32nds now, and will probably be at 6 when the snow starts.

What kind of tires are you planning on using in the snow? Age being equal I would prefer 5/32 on a snow tire over 8/32 on a summer/highway tire.

IMHO, this is a question w/o an acceptable answer as we don’t currently know what brand/model of tires you have on that car.

Just to give you an example of why it is not possible to properly answer the question right now, if you have Bridgestone Potenza RE-92 “all-season” tires on the car, they will have awful snow traction even when new, with 10/32 of tread.

The differences from one brand/model of tire to another in terms of wet traction and/or snow traction can be…dramatic.

What brand/model of tire are we discussing here?


The “experts” you quote are giving you the simplest piece of information most car owners can understand. It is fit for nothing more than the evening “consumer alert” news.

As many here have posted; what tire are you talking about? How much snow do you expect? Do you often drive in deep snow, on ice, on slush? What is the norm for your winter?

Kansas–our winters vary a lot. Usually 3 or 4 heavy snows (6-10 inches) per winter.
They are Michelin Harmony, an all-season tire. I have found them to be highly acceptable in the past. But then I grew up having to drive on snow, and know how to do it.

Based on the reviews from the site below, I’d say you should be OK until the the snow is deeper than about 4 inches. Deeper depends on too many variables.

Given your experience with snow and the infrequent snows you get (compared to, say, Buffalo), I’d give the Michelins and try, see how they do.

You’d throw out those Michelins with over half the original tread depth left? I’m going to go out on a limb and say no one else reading this would do that.

THIS is where the used tire places get their inventory AND where new tire stores and chains make back some of their money…selling ‘good enough for some’ old tires.

I’ve lived in Kansas and know the weather well. Storms come and go, ice comes and goes. One Xmas New Years holiday, i was wearing shorts due to 65 deg temps.

If you know how to drive in snow/ice, don’t waste the rest of the tread on your Michelins (you paid $$ for the premium brand).

If you were new to snow/ice, be safe and follow the precise recommendations.

For me, those tires would last thru the winter. I would replace them about Mar/April

I’m assuming you have a fwd vechicle and your vehicle isn’t prone to hydroplanning or have a history of unordinary sliding in moisture. rock on.

why don t they reduce the fractions? 1/16, 1/8, 3/16

Easier to compare thicknesses if they’re all in the same units (/32")

well they all reduced to 16ths…

but still its not rocket science to compare 1/16 to 1/8

You need more tread depth for heavy rain than you do for snow. Its the edge of the tread that gives you traction on ice and snow, thats why snow tires have all those little slits, called sipes, in them.

But of course, there are a lot of other factors that make true winter tires better on ice and snow, but even with the best tires, winter traction is poor to begin with.

wesw, tire depth gauges have a metric (mm) scale on them too.