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Tire tread depth

Tires will always remain the determining factor in the contact between the car and the road surface. The optimum functioning of tires is strongly influenced by their tread depth.

Depending on their type, new tires have a tread depth of between 7 mm and 9.5 mm. This ensures the best performance in changing conditions. While the minimum legal tread depth for all passenger car tires in Europe is 1.6 mm, it is safer to replace them at a depth of 2 mm at least. Weather considerations mean that the wear limit is set at 4 mm for winter tires. Winter tires with less than 4 mm tread depth in principle cease to be winter tires and the legal wear limit is also laid down by law in some countries.

 

The tread on the tire features a Tread Wear Indicator (TWI) which shows when a tire is close to the wear limit.

 

Wet road surfaces increase the risk of skidding. The risk of aquaplaning also rises as the minimum tread depth of the tire is reached. However, it is not possible to determine the minimum tread depth at which any given tire type can be safely driven. In general, the wider the tires, the greater the risk of aquaplaning with worn tires. In order to get the longest possible effectiveness from your tires, we recommend that you switch them from front to back and vice versa around the 7,500-10,000-kilometre mark. Don’t forget to adjust the tire pressure to the new position of the tires. These measures will increase the lifespan of your tires and improve driving comfort.