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Tips To Check Your Tire Tread

Oct 4, 2021

Your tires are the only point of contact you have between your vehicle and the road, so it’s important to ensure that your tires are in good shape for your safety. You can measure the tread depth of your tires easily to gauge if they may need to be replaced soon.

Appropriate Tire Tread Depth

When checking your tires, here’s what you need to know about the depth:

  • 4/32″ or deeper – Good
  • 3/32″ – Replace Tires Soon
  • 2/32″ or less – Replace Tires Now

The Penny Test

To use the penny test, insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln upside down and facing you. If the tread covers any portion of Lincoln’s head, your tires are in at least OK shape; the more of the head that is covered the better shape the tires are in. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tires have less than 2/32″ tread depth and need to be replaced as soon as possible.

The Quarter Test

If you don’t have a penny available, you can also use a quarter to estimate your tread depth. Like the penny test, insert the quarter upside down with Washington’s head facing you. If the tread touches his head, you have at least 4/32″ depth and are good to go! The more his head doesn’t touch his head, the less tread you have. Though this method isn’t as accurate as a gauge or the penny test, it can be helpful in a pinch.

Tread Depth Gauge

If you want the most accurate measure of your tread, you can purchase a tread depth gauge for under $10. All you have to do is insert the gauge and take note of the measurement on the indicator. Tires wear unevenly, so if you use a gauge, a penny, or a quarter, be sure to take measurements at various points on the tire to understand the overall condition of the tire.

Tread Wear Indicator

Many new tires also have built-in tread wear indicators, which can be helpful tools for understanding how much tread is left. If your tires have this, check to see how much of the tire is worn away and take notice of the measurement provided on the indicator.

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Find New Tires at Red McCombs Body Shop

If you check your tire tread depth and find that it’s lower than 2/32″, our team at Red McCombs Body Shop can help you find a new set for your vehicle.