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     Tire Dictionary

Select a topic from the list below to learn more.

• Air Pressure
• Alignment of Vehicle
• All Season Tires
• Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)
• Anti-Slip Control (ASR)
• Aquaplaning (Hydroplaning)
• Asymmetrical Tread
• Balancing
• Bead
• Braking distance
• Camber
• Casing
• Chains
• ContiComfortKit (CCK)
• Date of Manufacture
• Direction of Rotation
• DOT Serial Number
• Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
• Emergency Mobility Systems
• Hydroplaning (Aquaplaning)
• Load Index, Ply Rating or Load Range
• Minimum Removal Tread Depth


• Mixing Tires
• Radial Tires
• Reinforced or XL (extra load) Tires
• Replacement
• Revolutions Per Mile (RPM)
• Rolling Resistance
• Rotation
• Self-Supporting Run-Flat Tires (SSR)
• Speed Symbol
• Temporary Spare Tires
• Tire Gauge
• Tire Size Designation
• Tire Storage
• Toe
• Tread
• Tread Depth
• Tread Wear Indicator (TWI)
• Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG)
• Valve
• Valve Cap
• Winter Tires

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Minimum Removal Tread Depth

Minimum Removal Tread Depth for Passenger and Light Truck Tires – Continental acknowledges in various forms of communication (Internet, technical data books, customer service publications, etc.) that 1.6 mm (2/32") is the most widely accepted minimum tread depth standard at which tires should be removed from service. This standard has been adopted as a regulation by many of the world’s national transportation authorities. As an indication to the consumer, there are tread wear indicator bars in the main grooves of the tire that become level with the tread surface at approximately 1.6 mm (2/32") of remaining tread.

In addition to acknowledging the above, Continental recommends that all passenger and light truck tires in highway motor vehicle application be removed from service at the following tread depths:

• Summer / high performance tires, all season tires = 3 mm (4/32")
• Winter tires = 4 mm (5/32")

These recommendations are based upon Continental’s testing as well as real world experience which shows that drivers can maintain the performance potential (e.g. wet grip) of their tires by replacing them before they reach the regulatory minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm (2/32"). This applies especially to winter tires for which winter driving properties such as snow traction are significantly reduced at tread depths below 4 mm.