How to Check Tire Tread Depth

Checking Tire Tread_189773810
If you’re a new driver or taking over maintenance for the first time, you might be curious about tire tread depth. The purpose of the treads on your tires is to provide grip as you commute from Bellaire to Kalkaska. Thus, making sure your tire treads have adequate depth is critical. At this point, you might be asking, “How do I check tire tread wear?” The good news is that learning how to check tire tread depth is quite simple, and you can read all about it with our tips and tricks below!



What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

With new tires, you’ll generally have a tread depth of about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch). Special-purpose tires designed for winter or off-road driving may have deeper grooves, so you’ll want to inspect your set when you make a purchase.

So, how do you know when it’s time to replace your tires? The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that you should switch out your tires once your tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch. Falling below that can lead to loss of traction and hazardous driving on the Lake City streets.

How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear?: The Penny Test

While you can get a precise measurement with a ruler, you can also gauge your tire tread depth with a U.S penny! The design on the penny makes it the perfect on-the-go tool for checking your tires. Learn how here:

  1. Insert the penny with Lincoln’s head face down into a tire tread groove.
  2. Check to see if Lincoln’s head is completely covered and no longer visible between the grooves.
  3. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you have 2/32 of an inch or less of tire tread depth.
  4. Repeat this process in multiple spots for all four tires to see which ones need to be replaced.

What are Other Ways to Check Your Tire Tread Depth?

If you don’t have a penny nearby, don’t sweat it! Here are a few other methods you can use to check your tire tread depth:

  • Tread Depth Gauge: With this tool, insert the probe into the shallowest tread groove. After that, press the top bar of the gauge flat against the tire to get a reading. You can find tread depth gauges at any auto parts store.
  • Tread Wear Bars: In most cases, tires have tread wear indicator bars built in. You’ll spot them at the bottom of your tread grooves in multiple locations. If the bars are level with the surrounding tire ribs, the tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch and the tires should be replaced.

Keep Your Tires in Excellent Condition With Serra Traverse City

Now that you can answer the question, “How do I check tire tread wear?” you can monitor your vehicle like a professional. Here at Serra Traverse City, you can rely on us to provide you with all the information to care for your ride. From how to clean leather seats to how to calculate gas mileage, we’ve got you covered with the service tips you need! Be sure to reach out if you have any lingering questions about how to check tire tread depth.


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