How to Check Tire Tread Depth

Row of tires

 

If you’ve been driving more lately around the streets of Porter, you may be asking yourself, “How do I check tire tread wear?” Luckily, Texan GMC Buick has the answers for you. You just need access to a ruler or a penny, and then you’re able to check your tire tread depth on your own right at home! Read on to learn more about how to check tire tread depth, and be sure to contact our team if you have further questions. 

What Tire Tread Depth is Recommended? 

New tires have a tread depth of about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch, which equates to about a third of an inch. However, deeper tread grooves are common on trucks and SUVs, as well as tires designed for off-roading or driving in the winter.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends that you replace your tires once the tread grooves measure at 2/32 of an inch. It’s essential to the life of your tires and to driving safely in Houston that you maintain the proper tire tread depth.

The Penny Test

Of course, the most accurate way to measure tire tread depth is by using a ruler, but if you don’t have access to one, a penny will do. The design on the U.S. penny is ideal for measuring the wear on your tires. Follow these steps to check your remaining tire tread depth.

  1. Insert a penny so that Lincoln goes head-first into the groove of your tire tread.
  2. Check to see if Lincoln’s head is no longer visible and fully covered by the grooves.
  3. If you can see Lincoln’s head in its entirety, that means your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less, so it’s time to replace them.
  4. Repeat this process on all four tires. Make sure that you test this method in multiple locations on each tire to ensure a thorough check.

How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear Using Different Methods?

These days, it’s common to have a debit or credit card on hand rather than cash, so you may not always have a penny on your person. Here are some other ways you can check your tread depth:

  • Tread Wear Bars: Most tires come with built-in tread wear indicator bars. They are located at the bottom of the tread grooves in several locations across the tire. If the bars are flush with the surrounding tire ribs, it’s an indicator that the tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch, and it’s time for a replacement.
  • Tread Depth Gauge: Another way to check your tire tread wear without using a penny is with a tread depth gauge. It’s a separate tool you would need to purchase, but it’s an investment that is both affordable and worthwhile for New Caney car owners to have on hand. All you have to do is insert the measuring pin into the shallowest tread groove, then press the top bar of the gauge flat against the tire and read the measurement shown.

Get Your Tires Checked at Texan GMC Buick

Whether you bring your vehicle to our service center for a tire rotation or other routine maintenance, our technicians can inspect your tires for wear and other issues. When it’s time to replace your tires, visit our tire center, and be sure to check out our parts and service specialsfor great deals on your everyday car service needs!

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