How to Check Tire Tread Depth

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Most Morgantown drivers understand why proper tire tread depth is important, but if you’ve ever wondered, “How do I check tire tread wear?” keep reading. The tread on a tire is what grips Fairmont road as you drive around, helping you control your vehicle. Over time, your tire tread depth decreases and reduces the amount of traction between your tires and the streets below. The service team at University Toyota explains how to check tire tread depth, and if you need new tires, contact us.

What is the Correct Tire Tread Depth?

New tires usually have a tread depth of about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch, approximately a third of an inch. Some tires have deeper grooves, such as winter tires, those used for off-roading, and some trucks and SUVs. When should you replace your tires? The U.S. Department of Transportation says you should replace your tires when their tread depth is down to 2/32 of an inch. Remember, having the proper amount of tread depth is crucial to staying safe on your Kingwood drives.

How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear Using a Penny?

A ruler is the most accurate way to measure your tire tread depth, but you can also use a penny! Follow these simple steps, and you’ll soon know how to check tire tread depth.

  1. Insert the penny into a tire tread groove with Lincoln’s head facing down.
  2. See how much of Lincoln’s head you can see between the grooves.
  3. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.
  4. Repeat the process on all four of your tire and in different places on the same tire, as tires can wear out unevenly, especially if they weren’t rotated.

What Are Some Other Ways to Check Your Tire Tread Depth?

If you can’t find a penny, don’t worry. Here are two other ways to check your tire tread depth:

  • Tread Depth Gauge: You can always purchase a tread depth gauge from any auto parts store in Deep Creek, MD. Insert the probe into the shallowest area of the tread grooves. Then, press the top bar of the gauge flat against the tire and check the treadwear rating on the gauge.
  • Check Tread Wear Bars: Most tires include tread wear indicator bars. They are near the bottom of the tread grooves in multiple areas across the tires. If you see the bars are flush with the surrounding tire grooves, the tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch, and it’s time to replace your tires.

Keep Your Tires in Top Condition With University Toyota

Now that you know longer need to ask, “How do I check tire tread wear?” contact our tire center today if you’ve measured your tire tread and realize that you need new tires. We invite you to check out our parts specials and service specials to get a great deal on your new tires, OEM parts, and accessories! Schedule an appointment now.


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