How Do I Check My Tire Tread?

January 18, 2022 Published by Leave your thoughts

No matter where you live, winter is the most critical time to have good tires on your car. Whether you’re facing rain, snow or simply cold temperatures, having tires with enough tread is paramount.

If you’re not an automotive expert, you may not know how to measure the tread on your tires. You may be wondering, “How do I check the depth of tread on my tires?”

There are a few ways to measure the tread on your tires, and that’s what we’ll cover in this article.

Why measuring your tire tread is important

The minimum legal amount of tread on your tires is 2/32 of an inch. Despite this, your tires can suffer significant loss of performance at 4/32 of an inch, so you should try to replace your tires if they have that amount of tread or less.

Penny test

This is one of the easiest ways to measure the tread on your tires. All you have to do is take a penny, flip it upside down so that Abraham Lincoln’s head is facing downwards and insert it into one of the grooves that form the tread of your tires.

If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you will likely need to replace your tires. This test will roughly tell you whether your tire tread is 2/32 of an inch or less.

Quarter test

Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I check the depth of tread on my tires?” One method of measuring the tread on your tires is with a quarter. This test is similar to the penny test in that you’ll flip the quarter upside down and slide it into one of the more worn parts of your tire treads. If the top of George Washington’s head is visible, then your tires are likely below 4/32 of an inch and they should be replaced.

Tire tread indicator bars

If you look closely inside the treads of your tires, you should find some small, raised bumps or bars. These are a design feature specifically implemented to let you know if your tires need to be replaced.

If the depth of your tires’ treads is level with the bar, it means that they are only 2/32 of an inch deep and need to be swapped out as soon as possible. Your tires would be almost completely bald if this were to happen, so you should aim to get your tires replaced long before this occurs.

Tire tread depth gauge

For a more precise reading on the depth of your tire treads, you can try using a tire tread depth gauge. These are available for under $10 at your local auto parts store or online retailers like Amazon. You should try to find the lowest depth of tread on your tires and measure from there.

Simply take the tire tread gauge, place it over the tread you want to measure and push down on the probe until it touches the bottom of the tread. Remove the gauge and check the measurement to discover your tire’s tread depth.

Call for your new tires today

If you find that your tires are worn down, call us at M & M Tire & Service Center. We have over 40 years of industry experience and offer a bevy of services in addition to tire rotation and replacement, so call us today.

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