On my car there are these strange wires sticking out my tyre. They are wedged in the tyre at one end, and I pulled a few out before taking the photos below, before getting one stuck in my finger... Ouch :(

The tyre isn't bald as I still have loads of tread in the middle and other side of the tyre. On the outside of the tyre, inside the treads there seems to be many small cracks.

Can I get these wires removed? Should I change the tyre?

Tyre photo 1

Tyre photo 2

  • How old are those tires? The cracking rubber does not make me confident in them.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 16:04
  • 5
    Those tires are worn out and in poor condition. Please be safe and replace them.
    – CharlieRB
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 17:05
  • 1
    Those tyres have more wrinkles than my face at 65yrs and no visable tread left.. The sharp steel staple or torn belt wires can cause radical failures. Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 17:59
  • 5
    "The tyre isn't bald as I still have loads of tread in the middle and other side of the tyre." That tire is as close to bald as you are going to get. The channel in the center is not "tread." If you look at the sides, the blocks on the edge of the traction surface are teaming off. I doubt you'd be able to get this tire to grip in a light mist.
    – Bob Cross
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 11:27
  • 2
    Those tires died a year ago. Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 2:55

3 Answers 3


These wires are probably the wires in the steel belt of your radial tire. If you see those wires, the tire is worn out. You should replace it today! No, you should have replaced it yesterday!

For information about how a radial tire is constructed, see this Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radial_tire

  • 2
    "Replaced it yesterday" has to be +1 for that :)
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 17:24
  • 3
    I agree with replacing them. Also consider getting an alignment done, as they are wearing unevenly ("The tyre isn't bald as I still have loads of tread in the middle and other side of the tyre").
    – Spivonious
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 17:40
  • change the tyres by tonight Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 9:06

There are two layers of steel cables laid underneath the tyre tread. The cables are laid it opposing directions creating a cross ply, which provides rigidity for the tyres road contact surface. This improves handling / performance etc.

The wires that you can see are the edge of one of the layers of cables, and you can see them because the tyre is extremely worn.

There should be tread wear indicators between the tread blocks, although it looks like they are completely worn off!

The cracking also indicates that the tyre is very old. I would guess about 10 years. There's a "year" stamp on the sidewall which will tell you what the age of the tyre is.

I recommend a new tyre!

  • Welcome to mechanics stackexchange! There are already multiple similar answers on this question, that is already six months old anyway. Next time please think about if it is still relevant to post an answer on older questions like this.
    – MadMarky
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 21:18

I'll second juhist's answer - change it ASAP, and get the alignment checked.

Your profile says you're in the UK - that tyre is illegal here as you don't have enough tread over 3/4 of the width, so you're also at risk of a fairly hefty fine if you get stopped...

  • 1
    Yep, that tire is not just spectacularly dangerous but it's spectacularly illegal as well. Penalty points on the driving license and a fine for anyone stopped by the police while driving with that on the car! Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 13:58

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