How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear?

Checking Tire Tread_189773810

Your tire treads are an essential way of maintaining traction on the Waterbury roads, which in turn helps you stay in control of your vehicle. Therefore, it’s important that you know how to check tire tread depth so they don’t wear down to an unsafe level. So, you may be asking yourself, “How do I check tire tread wear on my tires?” It’s easier than you might think–you can do it at home, using just a ruler or even a penny. The service team at Honda of Watertown has everything you need to know in the guide below.

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth? 

When you purchase a new set of tires, their depth will be between 10/32 and 11/32 of an inch–around a third of an inch. If you’re using winter or off-roading tires, the grooves will be deeper because you need even more traction on the roads. The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends that you replace your tires once your treads wear down to 2/32 of an inch. 

How to Check Tire Tread Depth: The Penny Test

If you want to be absolutely accurate when checking your tire tread depth, the best thing to use is a ruler. However, if you don’t have a ruler around the house or just want a quicker (if slightly less precise) method of checking your tire tread wear, you can use an everyday U.S. penny! Just follow these steps and you’ll be all set:

  1. Insert a penny with Lincoln head-first into a tire tread groove.
  2. Observe if Lincoln’s head is covered and no longer visible between the grooves.
  3. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, that means 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.

How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear Using Other Methods?

If you don’t have a ruler or a penny, there are two other easy ways to check your tire tread wear–one of which is built right into the tires themselves! 

  • Tread Depth Gauge: You can find one of these at almost any auto parts store around Southbury–it’s a great investment to keep on hand when you need to inspect your tires. Just 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 come with tread wear indicator bars built into them–they’re at the bottom of the tread grooves in multiple locations across the tire. If you look at the bars and they’re flush with the tire ribs that surround them, it indicates that the tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch—your tires are too worn out to continue keeping your vehicle safe.

Maintain Your Tires at Honda of Watertown

If you’ve inspected your tires using any of the above methods and found that your tire tread depth is too low to be safe, just schedule an appointment with our service center and we’ll have you back on the Torrington roads in no time! Feel free to contact our office with any questions or to learn more about the services we offer. And if you’re looking to save on your next appointment, we offer service specials updated all the time.

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