How to Check Tire Tread Depth

close up of tire tread


If you’ve ever asked anyone around Lexington “How do I check tire tread wear on my pre-owned vehicle?” you’re not alone. Short Redmond SuperStore can help! Just find a penny or a ruler around your house, and you’ll have everything you need to check your tire tread depth at home and stay safe on Richmond streets. Learn how to check tire tread depth below from your friends at Short Redmond SuperStore, and contact us if you have any questions! 

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth? 

Brand new tires have a tread depth of around 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch, which is about a third of an inch. Winter tires and tires designed for off-roading, along with some SUV and truck tires, have even deeper tread grooves than regular tires.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, when your tires wear down to2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace them. Proper tire tread depth is crucial to staying safe driving as you drive around Winchester, and good tire caremight even extend the life of your tires.

The Penny Test

A ruler provides the most accurate measurement for checking tire tread depth, but if you don’t have a ruler in your home, or you are out and about around Danville, a penny will work. Follow these simple instructions to check the tire tread depth on your tires.

  1. Place your penny with Lincoln’s head facing you and upside down into the tire tread groove.
  2. Look to see if Lincoln’s head is covered and not visible between the grooves.
  3. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it means your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less, and it’s time to purchase a new set of tires.
  4. Repeat the same process on all four of your tires and in multiple places on each tire.

How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear Using Other Methods?

If you can’t find a penny or ruler, don’t worry. These are a couple of other ways that you can check your tire tread depth:

  • Tread Depth Gauge: Purchase a tread depth gauge at an auto parts store and simply insert the probe into the shallowest tread groove on your tire. Then, press on the top bar of the gauge that is flat against the tire to check the treadwear rating.
  • Tread Wear Bars: Most new tires come with tread wear indicator bars built right into them. You can locate them at the bottom of the tread grooves in several areas across the tire. If the bars look flush with the tire ribs surrounding them, it shows that the tread depth has worn down to 2/32 of an inch.

Turn to Short Redmond SuperStore With More Car Maintenance Help

Now that you know how to check tire tread wear, feel free to ask us for more tips and tricks on how to maintain your car in the best shape! Contact us today and we can show you how to be fuel-efficient on the Danville roads, how often to change your engine air filter, how to change your brake light, and more. We will guide you on making the most of your new-to-you vehicle in the Lexington area! 


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