How to Check Tire Tread Depth

Row of tires

Have you always wondered to yourself, “How do I check tire tread wear?” It’s a common question, and that’s why our service team created a guide showing you how to check the tire tread wear. All that’s needed is a penny or a ruler, and you can quickly and easily check your tire tread depth right at home near Voorhees. Get all of the details below, then reach out to our service center if you have any questions.

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

New tires have a tread depth of about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch – about a third of an inch. If you use winter tires, tires made for off-roading, or even tires made for trucks and SUVs, you may see even deeper tread grooves.

At 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace your tires, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Taking care of your tires ensures safe driving in Moorestown, and it also extends the life of your tires.

The Penny Test

For the most accurate results, using a ruler is the best for checking the tire tread depth. However, a penny will work if you’re in a bind. Follow the steps below to learn how to check the tire tread depth using a penny:

  1. Insert a penny with Lincoln head-first into a tire tread groove.
  2. Check and see if Lincoln’s head is covered between the grooves.
  3. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, then 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?

Don’t have a penny on hand? Don’t fret – below are additional ways you can check your tread depth:

  • Tread Depth Gauge: You would need to purchase it, but many Philadelphia car owners find it affordable and worth the investment. Insert the probe into the shallowest tread groove. Then, press the top bar of the gauge flat against the tire for the tread wear rating.
  • Tread Wear Bars: Most tires have tread wear indicator bars built-in. They’re located at the bottom of the tread grooves in multiple areas across the tire. If the bars are flush with the tire ribs surrounding them, the tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch.

Learn How to Maintain Your Tires at Lexus of Cherry Hill!

When you visit our Cherry Hill-area service center for your next routine oil change or tire rotation, you can get car and tire care tips like how often to rotate your tires and how often to change the cabin air filter. Be sure to explore our parts and service specials, and give our service center a call with additional questions or to schedule your service appointment.


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