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How to Check Tire Tread Depth

Checking Tire Tread_189773810

If you’re asking questions like, “Why is tire tread depth important?” and “How do I check tire tread wear?”, you’re likely a safety-conscious driver. Having the proper tire tread depth is critical for your car’s ability to grip the Blair streets. No matter how high quality your tires are, they will eventually wear out. This means that the tread depth will reduce, making your tires ineffective at gripping the road. If your tires can’t grip the road, then your travels can become hazardous. This is especially true when the weather takes a turn for the worse. So, do you want to learn how to check tire tread depth? Follow our tips and tricks below to get started!

What Is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

When you buy fresh tires, they’ll generally have a tread depth of about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch). Winter or off-road tires will likely have thicker grooves. The same is true for some truck and SUV tires. With so much variation in starting tire tread depth, it can be a bit confusing to know when to replace tires. You should replace your tires when their tread depth is measuring at 2/32 of an inch, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

How to Check Tire Tread Depth: The Penny Test

While a ruler will provide the most accurate measurement of tire tread depth, you can use a standard U.S penny in a pinch! The design of the U.S penny makes it a convenient tool for measuring tire wear. Follow these steps to learn the penny test:

  1. Place the penny into the tread groove with Lincoln’s head down.
  2. Check to see if Lincoln’s head is visible between the grooves.
  3. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less. This means it’s time for a replacement.
  4. Repeat this process for each tire in multiple locations.

How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear Without a Penny?

If you don’t have a penny nearby, you can use a few other tools to check the depth of your treads:

  • Tread Depth Gauge: A tread depth gauge is an easy tool to find, you should be able to purchase one from any local auto parts store. Start by inserting the probe into the shallowest tread groove. Then, press the top bar of the gauge flat against the tire to get a reading of the tread depth.
  • Tread Wear Bars: Most tires have built-in tread wear indicators that can be found at the bottom of the tread grooves in multiple locations across the tires. If those bars are flush with the surrounding ribs, it means your tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch.

Keep Your Tires in Excellent Condition in Blair

Here at Sid Dillon Chevrolet-blair Inc, we take great pride in our ability to help you care for your vehicle. We’re your go-to source for automotive guidance near Omaha because we are happy to take a few moments out of our day to help you acquire new, critical skills. Not only can we answer questions like, “How do I check tire tread wear?”, but we also have resources for all of your DIY projects. From teaching you about your TPMS to diagnosing a shaky steering wheel, we’ve got your back. Rely on Sid Dillon Chevrolet-blair Inc to keep your commute from Lincoln to Fremont safe and secure!


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