How to Properly Keep an Eye on Your Treads

December 19, 2023 Published by Leave your thoughts

Male,Salesman,Showing,Wheel,Tires,To,Caucasian,Man,Customer,AtHaving properly maintained tire treads is crucial for both the safety and performance of your vehicle. Treads play a vital role in providing traction and control, especially when driving on wet or slippery roads. Regularly checking and inspecting your tire treads can help prolong their lifespan, prevent accidents, and save you money in the long run. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of how to properly check, inspect, and maintain your tire treads.

1. Understanding the Importance of Tire Treads

Before diving into the inspection process, it’s essential to understand the importance of tire treads. The treads on your tires are responsible for channeling water away from the contact patch, allowing your vehicle to maintain traction on wet surfaces. Adequate treads also enhance grip, improve braking efficiency, and ensure better handling and control. Neglecting your tire treads can lead to decreased performance, increased braking distance, hydroplaning, or even blowouts, putting your safety at risk.

2. Perform Regular Visual Checks

Visual inspection is the simplest way to keep an eye on your treads. Start by examining each tire individually, looking for any signs of wear or damage. Look for any uneven tread wear, which could suggest an alignment or suspension issue. Pay close attention to the remaining tread depth and search for any bulges, cracks, punctures, or exposed cords. Uneven wear, bald spots, or any anomalies should be addressed immediately to prevent further damage or accidents.

3. Use the Penny Test

One of the most popular methods to check tire tread depth is the penny test. All you need is a penny and a few moments of your time. Take the penny and insert it into the tread groove with Lincoln’s head facing downward. If you can see Lincoln’s head completely, it’s time to replace your tires as they have reached the legal minimum tread depth. However, if part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, then your treads have sufficient depth, and you’re good to go.

4. Consider the Quarter Test

While the penny test is a quick and easy way to determine if your treads are too shallow, some experts recommend using the quarter test for a more accurate assessment. Similar to the penny test, use a quarter and insert it into the groove with Washington’s head facing down. If the top of Washington’s head is visible, your tread depth may be inadequate, especially in severe weather conditions. It’s advisable to replace your tires soon.

5. Importance of Tire Rotation

Tire rotation is a crucial maintenance practice that helps ensure even tread wear across all four tires. The front and rear tires experience different levels of stress and wear, leading to uneven tread depths. By regularly rotating your tires according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, you enable each tire to endure uniform wear and maximize their lifespan. Additionally, proper tire rotation contributes to better handling, improved fuel efficiency, and enhanced overall performance.

6. Keep an Eye on Tire Pressure

Maintaining optimal tire pressure is essential for maintaining healthy treads. Underinflated or overinflated tires can cause uneven tread wear, reduced traction, and compromised handling. Refer to the vehicle owner’s manual or the sticker on the driver’s side door jamb to find the correct tire pressure. Use a reliable tire pressure gauge to check the pressure regularly, and if needed, adjust it to the recommended levels. Remember to check the pressure when the tires are cold for accurate readings.

7. Seek Professional Help

While visual inspection and simple tests can help you keep an eye on your tire treads, it’s crucial to seek professional assistance regularly. Routine tire service from a qualified technician ensures that your tires are in peak condition, any potential issues are detected early, and necessary maintenance or replacements are performed correctly. Professional mechanics have the expertise, equipment, and knowledge to thoroughly inspect your tires, provide accurate advice, and address any concerns you may have.


Staying proactive and paying attention to your tire treads is a responsibility every vehicle owner must undertake. Regular visual checks, performing the penny and quarter tests, tire rotation, monitoring tire pressure, and seeking professional help when needed are all crucial steps in maintaining healthy treads. By doing so, you ensure improved safety, optimal performance, and a longer lifespan for your tires, ultimately saving you time, money, and potential headaches in the future. Remember, healthy treads equal happy travels!

Need a Mechanic in Lubbock, TX?

Since 1975, M & M Tire and Service Center has been the premier provider of general automotive repairs in the Lubbock area. We are a family-owned and operated business with over 40 years of experience. Our friendly and professional staff work to provide quality repairs and services at reasonable prices. At M & M Tire and Service Center, we offer oil changes, brake servicing, suspension repair, tires, electrical system analysis, heating and air conditioning, engine repairs, doors and windows and safety inspections. Call us today to schedule your next appointment and see why the Better Business Bureau has given us an A+ rating since 1983.

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