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Visual Tyre Inspection

Inspect Your Tyres Routinely

Is it time to change your tyres? Learn how to check your tread depth and inspect for damages. Once a month, or before you embark on long road trips, check your tyres for wear and damage problems to ensure driving pleasure and safety.

How to Check Your Tyre Tread Wear Levels

Because it’s the only part of the vehicle that grips the road, the depth of tread on your tyres is very important for the safety of your vehicle. It also signals the health of the tyre. Driving with low tread depth increases the potential for tyre failure while a decent tread depth provides optimum grip and increases hydro-planing resistance. Low tread depth in winter weather conditions can severely reduce grip and control. Motorists driving with tyres that have tread under the legal limit also risk a fine.

Step 1 - Assess the tyre tread

The first step in checking the tread of your tyre is to find 360 degree access to your tyres.

  • Park on a wide, flat and even surface in a safe place off of the public highway with the engine switched off and put the keys in your pocket.
  • Put on the handbrake (parking brake) and engage first gear (for manual gearboxes) or park (for automatics).
  • Once you have clear and safe access to the tyres you can begin the inspection.

Step 2- Check the tread

Begin checking the tread depth of your tyres. Don’t rely on guesswork: purchase an easy-to-use tread depth gauge so that you can monitor your tyres. Measuring tread depth is not difficult with this simple device and requires only a few minutes of time.

The legal minimum tread depth in South Africa is 1.6 mm across the central three-quarters of the tread width and round its entire circumference. Check the depth of the main tread grooves in several places across and around the tyre, using the gauge as instructed by its manufacturer.

Tyres also have tread wear indicators moulded into the base of the main grooves. When the tread surface is worn to the same level as these indicators, the tyre is at the legal limit and should be replaced to ensure safe diving.

However you check your tyre tread depths, if they are approaching the legal limit or if you have any doubts, get them checked professionally by a tyre specialist to ensure safe driving.

For more serious problems, we’ve created an easy-to-use online tyre inspection tool that can be found below to help you identify issues and learn how to fix them. And if you happen to need new tyres, use the easy-to-use MICHELIN Tyre Selector Tool to find reliable tyres to suit your needs.

To make sure your car's tread is road ready, watch the video below.