No Tread Sensors Just Yet

Technology in cars is progressing at breakneck speed, sensors and systems monitor what's happening not just inside your car's engine and drivetrain but many vehicles now have their own spatial awareness and know exactly what's around them and can alert you of impending dangers even before the driver realises they are there.

Tyres have recently been the beneficiary of the development of monitoring systems and every new vehicle must be fitted with a system that monitors tyre pressures and alerts the driver to any variation. Whilst these systems have come along in leaps and bounds in recent years, there has yet to be a system installed in cars that can monitor tyre tread depth. Devices do exist that can examine the condition of a car's tyre tread, but at the moment they are hand held and as such requires a user to scan them over the tyre and they are rather pricey, but safe to say there's no system available that will continually monitor tyre tread condition and warn of an impending change or danger.

Suffice to say for the time being checking your tread depth is something that will continue to be done visually and the only technology you may need to use may be a torch, mirror and a device, such as a 20p coin that can confirm tread depth.


It will require crouching down if you're going to do it properly, a procedure one of my customers in Bonnyrigg, Midlothian hadn't executed fully, much to his misfortune, as the rubber on the inner shoulder of the tyre had worn so much that the reinforcement chords were the only part of that portion of the tyre in contact with the road and, trust me these have no grip and are certainly not airtight. Totally oblivious to this fact, the driver had assumed it was just a routine puncture but on my arrival an initial tyre inspection revealed the Ford Fiesta would be needing a new 205/40/17 tyre as clearly repair was not an option. The good news for this particular driver is we could get him back on the road within an hour with a full tyre report and a recommendation for a further change on the opposite tyre due to the same symptoms.

So until the tyre tread monitoring system is a standard fixture on cars I would recommend a monthly inspection making sure you cover the full width of the tyre, putting the front wheels on full lock will help you get a look at that crucial hidden inner portion. If in any doubt about the roadworthiness of your tyres, give us a call and if necessary we can book in a free tyre inspection and we'll come to you to give you our professional advice.


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