How Do I Check My Car’s Tire Tread Wear?

close up of tire tread

Tire care is an important part of your regular vehicle maintenance schedule. Tires are the only components of your car that come in direct contact with the road. Think about all the friction they withstand and the road conditions they endure each and every day on your commute from Port Huron to Saint Clair or beyond. Now think about the last time you checked your tire tread wear, aka tread depth. It’s wise to check your tire tread depth and overall condition at least once a month so you don’t face any unforeseen surprises. How do you do that? Read on to find out, or contact us for additional tire care tips!

What’s the Recommended Tire Tread Depth for Saint Clair Driving?

There’s really no recommended tire tread depth for any kind of driving, though there are certainly guidelines and laws in place for minimum tire tread depth for safe driving. New tires usually have a tread depth between 10/32 to 11/32 of an inch (that’s about a third of an inch). Other types of tires like those designed for off-roading may have a deeper tread depth. The U.S. Department of Transportation mandates that you change your tires when they reach 2/32 of an inch of tread depth.

How to Use The Penny Test to Check Tire Tread Depth

The most accurate way of checking your tire tread depth is to use either a tread depth gauge or a ruler. If, however, you’re looking to check your tires on-the-go without access to these items, an old penny lying around in your car cup holders may be substituted! Follow the steps below to check the tire tread depth remaining on your tires with a penny:

  1. Insert a penny with Lincoln’s head upside-down into a tire tread groove.
  2. Check to see if Lincoln’s head is covered (no longer visible) between the grooves.
  3. Can you see the entirety of Lincoln’s face? If so, your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less and you’ll need to replace them.
  4. Repeat this process for every one of your four tires and in multiple locations on each tire to get the most accurate depth reading.

Other Ways to Check Tire Health in Fort Gratiot

Some tires have tread wear bars built-in that indicate when they’ve reached the 2/32 inch mark. If they don’t, you can also use a digital or manual tread depth gauge. But learning how you check tire tread wear isn’t the only important part of complete tire health. You should also keep these things in mind:

  • Visible tire punctures or damage
  • Tire pressure
  • Tire rot or cracking
  • Wheel alignment and tire vibration issues while driving

Get Your Tire Needs Met at Moran Blue Water Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Here at the Moran Blue Water Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram service department, we are dedicated to providing you with a superior overall experience. We work hard to ensure that whatever your service needs, you can rely on us. Looking to save more on your next set of new tires, wheel alignment, or tire care appointment? Check out our current service specials to save!

Moran Blue Water Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram 43.026883, -82.455050.