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How to Check Tire Tread Depth

Checking Tire Tread_189773810

Have you been wondering, “How do I check tire tread wear?” If you have a ruler or penny handy you can easily check your tire treads at home. Review our instructions for how to check tire tread depth below with the Cornerstone Plymouth service center, and then reach out to us about a replacement if you find that your tire treads are too low. 

What are the Tire Tread Depth Recommendations?

Current recommendations for tread depth for new tires are 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch — roughly a third of an inch. It’s important to note that there are some tires, like winter tires, tires that are designed for off-roading, and some SUV or truck tires, that have deeper treads than this. 

When Should I Replace My Tires? 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, once your tire treads reach 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace your tires. Having the proper tire tread depth is a safety issue when you’re riding around Minnetonka. 

Checking Tires Using the Penny Test

While a ruler can provide a more accurate measurement, a rough measurement can also be done with a standard U.S. penny. If you’re on the go and need to check your treads, you can grab a penny and perform the following steps:

  1. Place a penny Lincoln head-first into a tire tread groove.
  2. Check to see if Lincoln’s head is completely covered and no longer visible.
  3. If all of Lincoln’s head is visible, that means your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less. You’ll need to schedule a tire replacement. 
  4. Continue this process for all four tires; making sure to check multiple spots on each tire. 

Other Ways to Check Tire Tread Depth

While a ruler or penny may be the easiest way to measure your tire tread, you can also check your tread depth via:

  • Tire Tread Wear Bars: Tread wear indicator bars are built into the majority of tires on the market. You can spot these indicators at the bottom of the tread grooves in multiple locations across the tire. If your tire tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch, you’ll notice that these bars are even with the tire ribs that surround them.
  • Tread Depth Gauge: For a small investment you can get this easy-to-use tool for quick tread measurements. All you need to do is insert this tool into the shallowest groove to check your tire tread rating. 

Maintain Your Tires at Cornerstone Plymouth

The Cornerstone Plymouth service center is here to help you with all of your tire care needs around the Minneapolis and Maple Grove area. Whether you need to schedule tire service, or are looking for additional tips on tire care, you can reach out to us today!

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