The tread depth on your tires is important to maintaining control over your vehicle. Tread depth is directly related to how your car adheres to the road in all conditions. When the tread depth of your tires is too worn, a little bit of water or a patch of ice is all it takes to send your car careening out of control. You can have your mechanic check the treads on your tires, or you can check them at home. If you have never learned how to do this just by looking at your tires, here are three unconventional methods that will alert you to your need for new tires.

The Tire and Worn Shoe Comparison

Try and find the most worn spot on each of your tires. If you are not sure what this looks like, look at an old pair of your shoes. The bald or balding spots on your shoes will be similar to the worn areas on your tires. When the bald or balding spots on your tires are practically flat and you can barely see any tread on them at all, it is a sign that your tires need to go.

The Penny Test

Take a shiny penny and place it in the thickest part of the treads on all four of your tires. If the treads cover the penny from Abe Lincoln's beard to his ears, your tread is still good. If the treads do not cover that much of the penny, then you know it is just a matter of time before your tires fail you.

Gravel and Grit Impaction

When you encounter a gravel and grit driveway or back road, spin your tires a bit or drive along for a few miles. Then stop, get out of the car and check your tire treads. If you have a thick, caked on layer of gravel and grit stuck on and in the treads of your tires, you are safe to drive a few more months on the tires you have. On the other hand, if the gravel and grit just drips off and does not stick very well, your tires are shot.

Verification from a Source That Knows

An auto mechanic like Collier Goodyear Car Care Center will verify what you have done to test the treads on your tires. When you absolutely have to know that your tires are safe or need replacing, a tire and wheel mechanic is the person to ask. Then you can buy and apply your tires at the shop, or take them home and spend some time changing the tires yourself.