How Do I Check Tire Tread Depth?

Close up of tire tread
Have you recently asked, “How do I check tire tread wear?” Many drivers in the West Union area have asked this same question, and fortunately, it is a very easy task. Birdnow Dealerships would be glad to show you how to check tire tread depth. If you have a ruler or a penny, that is all you need! See if you need to replace your tires after following the steps below.

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

With new tires, you can expect a tread depth of approximately 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch). If you have equipped your vehicle with winter tires or tires better suited to off-road driving, as found on some trucks and SUVs, those tires may have even deeper tread grooves.

If your tires reach 2/32 of an inch, they will need to be replaced according to guidelines from the U.S. Department of Transportation. If you want to be as safe as possible on the roads of Fayette and you want your tires to last as long as possible, routine tire care is a must.

Check Tread Depth with the Penny Test

While you will have a more accurate measurement if you use a ruler, you can also use a penny to check the tread depth of your tires. It’s actually quite easy.

  1. Insert a penny with Lincoln’s head face first into a tire tread groove.
  2. Check to see whether Lincoln’s head is covered and cannot be seen between the grooves.
  3. Can you see all of Lincoln’s face? If so, that’s a sign that your tires should soon be replaced. The tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less.
  4. Be sure to perform the penny test on each tire in multiple locations.

Ensure the Health of Your Tires

In addition to using a ruler or penny to measure tire tread depth, you also have the option of using a tire tread depth gauge. Some tires are also equipped with tread wear bars that have a visible mark built into the tire that will let you know when there is not enough tire tread left. When you are checking the tread depth of your tires, it is also a good time to do a little more tire maintenance.

  • Check to make sure your tires are filled to the proper tire pressure.
  • Look for any visible tire damage.
  • Inspect the set for tire rot or disintegration.
  • See if your wheels are properly aligned, and if they are not, you can set up an appointment for a wheel alignment at Birdnow Dealerships.

Keep Your Tires in Pristine Condition with Birdnow Dealerships

Knowing how to check tire tread depth is important for maintaining the health of your car and determining the condition of a used car you may wish to buy. At Birdnow Dealerships, we make it easy to keep your tires in peak condition for many years to come without requiring a parts alternative. Our GM certified service experts would be glad to inspect your tires, and if you need a new set, we can help you find the right tires for your vehicle at our Chevy parts store. Are you interested in lifting your Ford truck? Learn more about F-150 lift kits available at Birdnow Dealerships parts store.  Contact us today with any auto service questions.

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1440 S Frederick Ave • Oelwein, IA 50662

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