How to check tire tread

When life gets busy and you’re more focused on where you’re going than how you’re getting there, the tread depth of your tires can be easy to overlook. But when it comes to tire maintenance, proper tread depth is one of the easiest ways to help maximize your safety and performance. Tire tread depth is also one of the easiest ways to know when your tires need to be replaced. So, if your tire’s tread depth hasn’t been measured recently, come in for a tire consultation and let one of our technicians do it for free.

The Penny Tire Test

There are several popular ways to check your tire tread depth. One easy way is the penny test. Simply insert a penny into your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tread depth is less than 2/32 inch and it’s time to replace your tires.

The Quarter Tire Test

Another easy coin test is the quarter test. Insert a quarter into your tread groove. If the tread touches Washington’s head, you have at least 4/32 inch of tread remaining.

Tire Tread Wear Bar Indicator

Don’t have any change on you? No problem. Another way to check tread depth is to look at the treadwear indicator bar that’s molded into most tires. The bars are located at the bottom of the tread grooves in several locations around the tire. When these bars become visibly flush with the adjacent ribs the tire has no more than 2/32″ of tread remaining. This is a visible indication for when you should replace your tires.

Carlos G. Hill

Carlos G. Hill

Carlos joined TireReview in 2019 after seven years of living and working in Dubai. He has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a wide range of publications, including Rolling Stone, Time Out, iQ and Loaded. After starting out on the automotive team as deputy editor of Engine Technology International, Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International and Transmissions Technology International, he has been an editor since 2015, and began editing Tire Technology International in 2018. In 2020, he was appointed editor-in-chief of Tire, Professional Motorsport World, Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International and Crash test Technology International

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