Winter Tire Tread Depth:
When new, Winter tires have a generally deeper thread depth than all season or summer tires. 11/32” (8.7mm) for winter vs. 10/32” (7.9mm) for all season. the reason is that the winter tire uses the depth of the tread to compress the snow and tracks over it to create a rough surface. The rubber compound of the winter tire is softer than summer which also aids in winter driving, the drawback is that if the winter tire is driven during warmer weather, the tread wears off quicker when compared with a summer tire.
Based on information supplied by most tire suppliers and regulatory authorities, it was concluded that the minimum recommended tread depth for a winter tire is around 5/32” (4mm) compared to the minimum recommended tread depth for an all-season tire is 3/32” (2.3mm). so at first glance, a winter tire might appear to have plenty of tread life left in it, but the reality might differ.
Another important point is that some tires have a tread wear indicator across the tire tread depth to provide insight based on manufacturer recommendation, once the tire reaches the end of useful life or begin to diminish in quality of traction.
Don’t forget to double check the manufacturing date on the tire (shown next to the DOT stamp, illustrated in the pictures), the first two digits highlight the week of manufacturing, while the second 2 digits highlight the year of manufacturing.
When deciding on whether to keep or replace your winter tires, please take the above info into consideration.
From everyone at the Car Inspected Team, We wish you a safe winter driving season!