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Winter's Here: Is Your Car Ready for the Cold and Wet?

Winter's icy grip has arrived, and with it comes rain, sleet, frost, and potentially even snow! These conditions can make driving treacherous, so it's crucial to ensure your car is prepared for the elements.

One of the most important aspects of winter car safety is often overlooked: tyre tread depth. Here at Waggs Auto Group, we want to remind you why good tread is essential and how to easily check it yourself.

Why Tread Depth Matters in Winter

Your tyres are the only connection between your car and the road. When the weather turns nasty, having proper tread depth makes all the difference:

  • Conquering the Wet: Winter roads are a cocktail of rain, sleet, and melting snow. Deep tread grooves act like mini-canals, channeling water away from the tyre and preventing hydroplaning. This is where your car loses traction because a layer of water builds up between the tyre and the road – a scary situation!

  • Gripping the Frost: Good tread provides essential traction on frosty mornings. Those tiny grooves work like claws, digging into the light snow or frost to give you control and prevent skidding.

  • Stopping Power: Deeper treads allow your tyres to grip the road better in winter conditions, leading to shorter stopping distances. This is critical for safety during those icy commutes.

Checking Your Tyre Tread Depth at Home

The good news is that checking your tyre tread depth is a quick and easy DIY project! Here are two methods:

  • Tread Wear Indicators: Most modern tyres have built-in tread wear indicators – small raised bars across the bottom of the tread grooves. When the tread wears down to the same level as these bars, it's time for new tyres.

  • The Coin Test:

  1. Grab a one-dollar coin (New Zealand).

  2. Insert it head-first into the tread groove of your tyre.

  3. If the top of the Queen's head is visible, your tread depth is below the legal minimum of 1.5mm and your tyres need replacing.

Don't Wait Until It's Too Late: Replace Worn Tyres

For optimal winter performance and safety, it's recommended to replace your tyres when the tread depth reaches 3mm, not just the minimum legal limit.

We Care About Your Safety

At Waggs Auto Group, we prioritise your safety on the road. If you're unsure about your tyre tread depth or have any winter car maintenance concerns, don't hesitate to visit us for a professional inspection.

Drive safe this winter!


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