While tire tread depth is always important for your car’s performance and safety, maintaining the proper tire tread depth is even more important in the winter. Consumer Reports found that tread depth had the biggest impact on snow traction, where low tread cut traction by 14% and braking power by 7% on wet surfaces. So, how much tire tread is safe for winter? Find out with Camp Chevrolet, and get more service tips at our Spokane-based dealership.
The old rule of thumb in Tri-Cities and Spokane Valley is to get new tires when 2/32 of an inch of tread remains. While that’s a good idea for all-season tires during mild weather, during the snow, you’ll need to move a little faster. For the Spokane area, 4/32 of an inch is the minimum tread depth for snow tires. So if you need to replace your tires sooner than usual, it’s worth it for the extra peace of mind.
Snow tire tread depth is just one factor to consider. What about the difference between snow tires vs. all-season tires? All-season tires are made to perform in all weather conditions, but they perform at their peak during mild climates. They don’t stand up to extreme cold and heat in Post Falls. Snow tires, on the other hand, are made for the cold and snow with features like:
Think of your snow tires as a set of snow boots, while all-season tires are more like a pair of sneakers.
Want to make sure that you have a safe tire tread depth for snow? You can purchase a tire tread depth measurement tool like a gauge from our parts department or you can use a small ruler to get in the grooves. But, many people like to use a penny for measuring tread depth.
We’ve gone through the basics of how much tire tread is safe for winter and how to measure snow tire tread depth, but if you have any questions, reach out to us at Camp Chevrolet. We’re located in Spokane, so stop by our tire center or contact us for more information.
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