Guide & Tips

How Long Can You Drive On Bald Tires? Updated Tips 2023!

Your choice of putting your life and your loved ones in danger would be deciding how long can you drive on bald tires. They are nothing more than an incident nearing, and it can occur to you just around the corner or when you are driving at 80 mph on the road.

Bald tires cannot ensure your safety. Despite the fact that a car with bald tires may not break down after 200 miles of highway travel, they can still cause understeering, hydroplaning, blowouts, and a loss of control. Bald tires happen to prolong the stopping distance in rainy weather.

Scroll down for more information regarding the duration of driving with bald tires!

Is It Dangerous To Drive With Bald Tires 

Ever watched a stuntman performing a tire burnout or a car drift? Evidence of the rubber burning out of a tire is the smoke which comes from it when it revolves quickly while being pressed down on the road. The same thing happens when you drive a car on a busy public road. Though it moves at a slow pace, there is a process in place.

The treads start wearing away when the rubber burns, and then there would not be any grooves remaining in the tires to let the water pass from them easily. In the absence of such grooves and treads, neither air nor water can move, not cooling the tires and increasing skidding risk, punctures, losing control, braking problems, etc.

It is quite risky to drive on bald tires. The major reason behind is that you would not be having any traction on the road. That is why even a light brake would result in sliding and a loss of control.

Along with that, driving a car at a higher speed rating while wearing bald tires increases the risks of punctures and, in the worst-case scenarios, explosions. According to the 2018 NHTSA Survey, tires cause 35% of the car collisions and proved to be the key reason, which accounted for 2% of the total crashes.

How Long Can You Drive With Bald Tires 

You would really like to find out how long you can get by with the existing set of tires before you decide to replace them, so we really acknowledge that your query is not intended to find out all the things which can possibly go wrong.

Although there is not a straight answer for how long you can drive on bald tires, we advise not doing so. Rather, wait till all of your tires are in a reliable condition before getting behind the wheel. Because when you drive a car without tire tread and grooves, you would be left with nothing but bad traction.

We really do not intend to alert you when we say such terms like hydroplaning, lack of control, etc. can cause accidents to you. But, our intention is just to make you aware of the risks linked with driving on bald tires and to give a warning about any probable fallout.

What Will Happen If You Drive Too Long With Bald Tires 

Driving on bald tires can lead to various unfortunate events. One of the worst effects is hydroplaning. Rubber would burn at a higher rate due to this followed by extreme heat accumulation. It would be challenging for navigating slippery and snowy roads when driving on bald tires. Driving with bare tires will have the following consequences:

Hydroplaning: Tires have grooves and treads for directing airflow and allowing the water to pass. When they are not present, the water would not make it to pass through and weaken the bond present between the tire and  road.

Snow Turns Into Your Foe: For giving drivers some extra grip when they are driving, snow tires have to have deeper treads. If you look over the snow tires closely, you would observe that they have more as well as better channeled sipes than the others along with the additional traction.

When you are driving with tires which are not simply bald but have even lost half of their grooves, you would probably be sliding more on a road covered with snow.

A Buildup of Summer Heat: Rubber breaks down at a faster rate in summers since it tends to expand in the heat. Suppose your worn-out tires are now moving the road while the friction and heat of the summer time are building up the heat. Moreover, extreme heat can cause sudden blowouts which seriously damage both people and nearby properties. 

Loss of Air Pressure: Tires which have not the right tread would lose air more quickly than those having the right one. Instant air pressure loss causes under-inflation, becoming a major cause of skidding and also makes the car steering more difficult on dry roads. In addition to this, using rapid brakes will cause sliding of the tires with a low air pressure.

These above mentioned four more arguments should convince you that driving on bald tires is never a smart choice. Make sure you have replaced the worn-out tires prior to starting driving the car again.

Do Bald Tires Explode Spontaneously 

Absolutely, bald tires are prone to explosion. Even though they happen frequently, tire blowouts are among the most risky situations, particularly when you are on the road. Many factors may cause bald tires to explode. A few of these are listed below:

  • Tire stress from sliding results in explosion.
  • Accumulation of a lot of heat.
  • Explosions can also happen while driving on uneven roads with bald tires.
  • Snowy and wet roads add additional strain, triggering explosions in the bald tires.

Overall, the worst-possible scenario when driving a car with bald tires is always a burnout or an explosion, which you must be avoiding completely.

Do Bald Tires Cause Issues With Braking 

The tires are always contacting the road even when the brakes are applied to the internal tire rim. Bald tires would cause a decreased traction and a bad grip. These two factors both end up resulting in braking problems.

What More Should You Know? 

What Are Bald Tires 

Bald tires have little or no tread left on them, assisting them develop some grip and traction on the road. Every tire ultimately loses its shoulders, sipes, sipe lines, grooves, and tread. While some regions deteriorate more quickly than others as they are instantly exposed to the road.

The grooves, sipes, and treads of your tires would get worn to the extent where all that remains is plain rubber with no pattern, a stage where they would be termed bald. Irrespective of being the most severe tire baldness, it usually does not occur immediately. Tire tread depth is only allowed to be 2/32″ in a legal perspective. Federal legislation also makes it mandatory to have identical tread depth. Tread depth gauge is a tool easily available at any automotive store, which can be used for measuring  this depth.

Take at least three depth readings from separate grooves to have the best measurements, and only consider the tread with the lowest reading. Along with that, you must watch the condition of the tires to ensure that they do not deteriorate to the stage where the tire belts become visible.

Why Do Tires Go Bald In The Center

Tires could be wearing out in the middle for a number of reasons,. These include heavy use, eccentric driving habits, scorching summer heat, traveling on difficult roads, a driver who is a drifting freak, etc.

Other factors which affect the basic health of the tires consist of misalignment, over- and under-inflation. The tires would ultimately get bald due to the increased stress.

Can You Check For Bald Tires Yourself

If you wish to know whether your tires have become bald, all you would need is a quick inspection. You can do another thing instead to know the status, a test more significantly, along with keeping track of the tire treads and sipes which are disintegrating.

You would be using the Penny Test here. Take a penny or a coin, place it in the center of the tread, and keep it there. Now you should be checking to observe how much of the coin region is covered below the treads when you enter it by placing  the face of Lincoln in a downward direction.

You are good to proceed if the penny is placed in a way that just half of Lincoln’s face is hidden. The tread on your tires has partially worn down.

It will totally disappear if the face remains visible depending on the duration of use. So, it is time to replace them. As a result, you probably have to begin looking for new tires immediately.

Wrap Up

The bottom line is that though there is no crystal clear explanation to how far you can drive on bald tires, we would suggest you to not do so. Instead, we advise that you should not be driving the car when all of your tires are worn out. You would experience everything except a good traction when you are driving a car without proper tire tread and grooves, 

We hope that now you have made yourself aware of risks involved in driving with bald tires. Hit the comment section if you still have any confusion. We would love to serve you with the needed guidance!

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