How to Measure Tire Tread Depth

Checking Tire Tread_189773810

The tire tread on your tires is an important part to your safety when driving on Fairmont roads. The proper tread depth gives you the traction you need, especially during inclement weather conditions. When you get brand new tires, you’ll have the correct tread depth. However, it will gradually decrease over time due to usage, so it’s important that you know how to check tire tread depth. Learn how to measure your tire tread depth with our service team below. If you find that the tread is too shallow, schedule a service appointment with Dan Cava's Buick GMC and we’ll get you back on Morgantown roads as soon as possible. 



Recommended Tire Tread Depth

Before we dive into how to measure tire tread depth, you’ll need to have some background knowledge. Understanding the recommended tread depth is important so you know what you’re looking for in the next step explained below. A fresh, new set of tires usually has a tread depth of 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch). If you have special tires designed specifically for snow or off-roading, you’ll have deeper tread grooves for additional traction. If your tire depth is 2/32 of an inch, then you know it’s time to get new ones. Anything less will greatly increase your risk when driving on Grafton roads. 

How to Check Tire Tread: Tire Tread Penny Test

To check your tire tread depth, you’ll need one of two items: a ruler or a penny. Using a ruler is the most accurate way to measure, but if you don’t have one handy, then you can do a tire tread penny test. We gave easy and clear instructions on the tire tread penny test so you can figure out if your tires are up to par: 

  1. Insert the penny with Lincoln head-first into a tire tread groove.
  2. Check if Lincoln’s head is covered and no longer visible between the grooves.
  3. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less and it’s time to replace them.
  4. Repeat this process on all four tires and in multiple locations on each tire.

If you can’t see Lincoln’s head, then you’re good to go! 

Other Ways to Check Your Tire Tread Depth

If you don’t have a penny to do the tire tread penny test, here are come other methods you can use to check your tread depth: 

  • Tread Depth Gauge: You can purchase a tread depth gauge from any Grafton-area auto parts store. Insert the probe into the shallowest tread groove, then press the top bar of the gauge flat against the tire to see the tread wear rating.
  • Tread Wear Bars: Most tires have tread wear indicator bars built into them, and you can find them at the bottom of the tread grooves in multiple locations across the tires. If the bars are flush with the surrounding tire ribs, this means that the tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch.

Manage Your Tires’ Condition With Dan Cava's Buick GMC

Is your tread depth below standard? Bring it to Dan Cava's Buick GMC and we’ll make sure that you are equipped with proper tires so you can drive safely. If you have any questions about how to measure tire tread depth or a different topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Feel free to check out more service and parts tips from our experts in the meantime!


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