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How To Tell If Your Tires Are Bald? [ Here Are Ways ]

How To Tell If Your Tires Are Bald? [ Here Are Ways ]

Tire treads warrant good traction to your drive, keeping your car safe on different terrains. These treads keep wearing down as you add miles. As the treads keep wearing down naturally, there’s no surprise that you would not have adequate treads left after a few years. Your tire would become bald when little or no tread is left on the surface.

With bald tires, the tread depth would not be adequate to channel water. So, your car would lose traction if it is raining. Eventually, the car might go out of your control, leading to accidents. This explains the risks that come with bald tires, as the driver remains susceptible to accidents.

In this article, you will get to know the reasons causing a bald tire and their indicating signs.

How to tell if your tires are bald?

When you recognize the signs of a bald tire, you can get them replaced before it starts messing up your ride quality. Here are some symptoms that would help you determine whether you have a bald tire.

1. Visible bars on tires

You would notice wear bars, or tread wear indicators on your tire if the tread has completely worn out. These bars are as wide as a pencil, and they are present around the base of the tread, running from side to side.

Once the tread depth reaches 2/32 inches, the wear bars become conspicuous. If the tread wears down, it wouldn’t be legal to use the tire on the road. So, you need to replace the tire immediately.

2. Low tread

During the routine visual inspections, the tread on your tires might appear heavily worn out. To know whether it’s time for a replacement, simply put the edge of a coin into one of the grooves.

It must touch the bottom. Insert it in such a way that the head of Lincoln completely gets into the tread. In case you can fully see the top of the head, the depth is 2/32 inches or even lower. Therefore, it doesn’t adhere to the legalities, and you need to get a new one.

3. Bulges and cracks

Periodic tire inspections can reveal potential bulges or cracks. When you drive, you might observe something unusual. Check out for deep cuts or cracks that are deep enough so that they expose the body cords or steel belts.

Besides, you need to inspect for unusual bulges in the sidewalls or the tread. This can point to internal damage. Seek professional support if you are not sure of the condition of the treads.

What causes bald tires?

Check out what can cause the tread on your tires to wear away faster, leading to bald tires.

1. Rough terrain

The lifeline of your tires largely depends on what type of terrain you drive on regularly. In case you frequently navigate through harsher terrains, icy patches, or mud roads, you would lose the treads faster. Besides, in tropical regions or cold places, extreme weather conditions take a toll on the treads faster.

If small particles lie on the roads, your tires would sustain damage. Besides, sand, mud, and rocks can get into the tread lines. In the process, they damage or grind the surface, reducing the lifespan of the tire.

2. Unbalanced tires

Technical mistakes or glitches during tire aligning can also lead to fast depletion of the treads. In case you try to handle the alignment process yourself, the chances of mistakes are high. This implies that you would have bald tires faster.

Moreover, if you have selected the wrong type of tire for your vehicle, the tread might wear off faster.

Each tire is suitable for a specific type of car. Before getting the tires, you may seek professional support to ensure that the treads would last long. This way, you can prevent premature balding of the tires.

3. Inadequate tire inflation

If you happen to underinflate your tires, they wouldn’t have adequate air. This would reflect adversely on the quality of your ride, and you would compromise your safety.

With low air pressure, the tires would have to withstand more force than they should. This would exert excessive pressure on the treads on the tires.

Again, you may end up overinflating the tires. When the tires carry more air, the treads come under pressure along with the weight of the vehicle. Therefore, you would find the treads wearing away faster than you would expect.

4. Lack of maintenance

With timely preventive maintenance, you can keep your car’s components properly operational. This includes your tires as well. If the treads are worn away, you can identify the problem soon.

Accordingly, you may change your driving habits or take necessary actions to prevent premature tread wear. Skipping the scheduled maintenance can invite such troubles.

How long can you drive on bald tires?

Technically, you shouldn’t be driving on bald tires. Driving on such worn-out tires involves a life risk you wouldn’t be comfortable with. Bald tires can burst at any time, even if you don’t take too much speed. So, try to replace them before the driver leaves your comfort zone.

What happens if you drive on bald tires?

You are mistaken if you think you can continue ignoring bald tires. The danger lurking in your tires would cost you much more than getting them replaced in the first place.

Harsh weather conditions and rough terrains would significantly rob you of your dexterity to control the vehicle. Particularly, your car would be susceptible to accidents while you navigate your way through mud, rain, snow, and slick.

Besides, driving with bald tires can invite fines as your break the laws. Besides, with reduced grip, your car can sustain serious damage. You would end up compromising your braking ability and handling. Ultimately, you would be shelling out more repair bills if you ignore your tires.

Here are the common consequences of driving on bald tires.

  1. Hydroplaning and lost control: As you try to drive on bald tires, you become exposed to the risk of hydroplaning and skidding. Particularly, this danger intensifies when you drive during rainy or snowy months. This further increases the chances of accidents. So, if you are trying to save a few hundred dollars by driving on worn-out tires, be prepared to shell out hefty insurance and repair expenses.
  2. Punctures: Bald tires wouldn’t be having adequate tread. This makes your car susceptible to flat tires or punctures. Besides, in the event of a blowout, the driver would lose control of the car and end up in an accident.
  3. Poor braking: Regardless of your driving speed, you would expect your brakes to be properly functional. While your tires would provide traction, brakes won’t. when you drive on a smooth road free from debris, dirt, or sand, there would be a compromise in the ability of your brakes to bring the car to a halt. This, too, increases the possibility of accidents. Also, they add up to your repair expenses.
  4. Fines and tickets: In some states like California, Illinois, and Washington, driving on bald tires can get you a ticket.


Identifying bald tires is easy, and you don’t need any sophisticated machines for the purpose. Now that you know the downsides of driving on bald tires, you would like to get them replaced at the right time.

With proper tread on your tire, you can warrant the basic safety of your car. Also, the driver would benefit from enhanced traction and control.

Altogether, replacing the bald tire would leverage your overall driving experience. Considering these aspects, replacing a bald tire as soon as possible makes sense.