Bald Car Tires


What are Bald Car Tires?

Simply put, bald car tires are tires that have little to no tread left on them. This is where they get their name “slicks” from. The part of your tire that comes in contact with the ground can be defined as tread on a tire. This tread wears down over time.

Each tire, depending on the size, brand, and design, will come with a certain tread depth. When a tire wears down to 4/32” tread depth, you need to start looking at buying new tires for your vehicle.

It is always best to plan ahead whenever possible, especially when concerning the health and safety of you, your passengers, and your vehicle. Know when to shop for new tires before it’s too late.

You can plan something all day long, but that plan means nothing if no action is taken.

By the time your tires tread depth reaches 2/32”, you will need to replace your tires. This 2/32” tread depth is the minimum tread you can have on your tire at any point along your tire. Your tire needs to be replaced, if the tread does not meet this specification, at ALL points. Learn how to change your car tires!

Do you need an easy way to measure tire tread depth? Check out this simple tread depth tool below. 


What is Considered to be a Bald Car Tire?

If you have a tread depth of less than 2/32”, it is considered a bald car tire. This tread depth has to be greater than 2/32” at EVERY point along the tires tread. If your tire reaches this tread depth at any point of you owning that tire, you need to replace them or risk the dangers that are a result of having bald tires. Not sure how to check tire tread depth? Check out the FREE and easy method.

Tire Tread Depth Gauges (2 Pack)
Tire Tread Depth Gauges (2 Pack)

This tire tread depth gauge tool reads in 32nds. Suitable for trucks, motorcycles, automobiles and any passenger vehicle. Know exactly when to get new tires!

When Does Hydroplaning Occur?

Hydroplaning occurs on the road or pavement. The phenomena occurs when a moving vehicle crosses a standing body of water. This will causing the car or truck to “float”. This happens specifically when the tire of your vehicle can not displace the water it crosses. The combination of poor tire PSI, bald tires, and speed is what causes this phenomenon.

What this means is that if your tire can not move or scatter the water it travels over, there will remain a thin layer of water between your tires and the road. This remaining water will result in the loss of traction and control for your car or truck. Avoid puddles on the road and reduce your speed in the rain and snow to help prevent hydroplaning.

Pro Tip: Queue up Carrie Underwood “Jesus Take the Wheel” when it starts raining and you have bald car tires.

If your vehicle begins to hydroplane, you should _____.

First things first do not panic if you begin to hydroplane. Keep a calm manner.

If you begin to hydroplane whether you are in a rear wheel drive, front wheel drive, or all wheel drive vehicle, you should first identify a clear path to head towards.

You do not want to press your brakes or accelerator suddenly. Hydroplaning is defined as a loss of traction. So, if you were to press either of these in a rapid manner you could make the bad situation worse by causing a spin out. What you do want to do instead is, ease off of the accelerator to slow your speed.

Have a firm grip on the steering wheel, and begin to gradually steer your car in the path you have decided upon to be safe.

From there you should begin to gently apply brakes (do not slam them) your tires will begin to regain contact with the road.

From there you will be able to regain control of your vehicle.

  1. Keep a calm manner
  2. Identify a clear path to head towards
  3. Ease off of the accelerator
  4. Gradually steer your car
  5. Gently apply brakes (do not slam them)
  6. Regain control of your vehicle

It is important to remember when weather conditions are poor, do not drive with cruise control on, avoid puddles on the road, and reduce your speed in the rain to help prevent hydroplaning.

Bald Car Tire Dangers!

Is it dangerous to drive with a bald car tire?

Driving on bald tires can be very dangerous. The risk increases on certain terrain and in inclement weather conditions. When your tire tread is low, your tires are prone to skidding or hydroplaning during sudden braking, fast accelerations, or when traveling on slick roads.

Although you can technically drive on bald tires until they literally explode, you would not want to risk the chance of them popping while you are driving. The faster you travel with bald tires the greater the chance you have for a wreck to occur. Not to mention you risk the chance of getting a ticket for driving on your bald tires. 

What causes bald car tires?

Typically tires do not go bald quickly, unless there is a greater underlying problem that is affecting your tires tread depth. Does your tire seem like it’s wearing out too fast? Bad tire wear can be a result of just a normal commute or a sign of a much greater problem.

These problems could include but are not limited to: alignment issues, suspension issues, and or over/under inflation. These issues could result in bald car tires and/or blowouts. 

Bald car tires are like players… smooth.

What is a Normal Tire Lifespan?

It is impossible to determine a tire’s exact life expectancy, however, the average tire has a normal life span of around 3-5 years. This is considering the fact that you drive a typical number of miles each year. This typical number of miles equates to somewhere around 12,000-16,000 miles annually.

With proper vehicle and tire maintenance, a typical set of all-season tires can go anywhere from 50,000 to 75,000 miles depending on terrain, brake usage, and speed factors. After the maximum tire range of about 75,000 miles your tires will more than likely be bald and considered dangerous.

The tread should wear out long before the rubber compound does. Check your tires expiration date to see when your tire compound expires. 

How Long Can You Drive on Bald Tires

You can technically drive on bald tires until they blow out. However, driving on bald tires is NOT recommended. The main reason for limiting the amount of time you spend driving on bald tires is the fact that they are extremely dangerous, especially when traveling over 70 miles per hour.

The risk of serious injury or death is high especially when the wires on your tire begin to show. When the wires begin to show on your tire(s), this means that your tire is bound to explode at any moment and should NEVER be driven on. Safety is the top priority.

What Causes Wires to Show on Tires?

Replace your tires immediately if your wires are showing. A tires wire doesn’t typically begin to show before your entire tread on your tire is bald. This means that your whole tire should be slick before you even begin to see wire.

If the cords of your tires are showing before your tire is bald, it may be due to the uneven wear caused by a poor alignment. The wires could also be showing because your tire is out of balance.

The best way to avoid this is to rotate and balance your tires every 6,000 miles or so. Your tires should be aligned every time they are put on.

Tire Wire Showing on a Bald Car Tire

Can you Fix Bald Car Tires?

Unfortunately there is no way to fix bald or slick tires. The only way to “fix” this problem is to replace them with the right tires for your vehicle. Understanding the dangers of bald tires will make you want to get them replaced sooner than later.

Read above to educate yourself on the proper care and maintenance for your car tires to increase their lifespan and prevent premature balding.

Symptoms of Bald Car Tires

Listed below are some symptoms of bald tires. If you are experiencing loss of control while driving, the first thing to inspect is the car or truck tire tread condition. The lack of tread will increase slippage upon braking or accelerating.

The bald tires appearance will look like it sounds, bald. A tire should have tread on it if yours does not have at east 2/32” of tread your tire is bald. Using the “penny test” can be one of the best ways to check tire tread depth.

If your tires are bald you will experience a rough car ride. This rough ride is due to lack of tread causing you to feel everything along the surface of the road.

  • Loss of control
  • Lack of tread
  • Humming sound
  • Rough/slick ride