How Do I Check Tire Tread Depth?


Tires are an often overlooked component of your vehicle, but proper tire care is essential for safe driving on the Bethlehem roads. Because of this, you may be asking, “How do I check tire tread wear?” It’s actually quite simple! All you need is a ruler or penny, and you can check your tire tread depth at home. Young Volkswagen would be more than happy to share how to check tire tread depth in the guide below. 


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 drive a truck or an SUV, your tires may have a deeper tread depth than that. This is also the case for tires that are designed for off-roading.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends replacing your tires when the tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch. This ensures that your tires have enough traction to handle safely on the roads of Allentown. Keeping your tires well-maintained can also help to prolong their lifespan. 

The Penny Test

The best way to check tire tread depth is to use a ruler. However, if you do not have one on hand, you can actually use a penny. Wondering how to check tire tread depth with a penny? Follow the steps below.

  1. Insert a penny with Lincoln’s head face first into a tire tread groove.
  2. Check to see whether Lincoln’s head is covered and no longer visible between the grooves.
  3. Can you see all of Lincoln’s face? If so, it’s an indicator that your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less. This means it is time to replace your tires.
  4. Be sure to check all four tires using this method, and check each tire in a variety of locations. 

Ways to Ensure Tire Health

In addition to checking tire tread with a ruler or a penny, there are other tools available when performing this task, such as a tire tread depth gauge or tread wear bars that have a visible mark built into the tire which indicates the 2/32 inch mark. Not only will you want to check the tread depth of your tires, there are also a few other areas to inspect:

  • Tire pressure
  • Any visible tire damage
  • Tire rot or disintegration
  • Wheel alignment

Keep Your Tires in Pristine Condition with Young Volkswagen

Maintaining your tires in Stroudsburg is easy with Young Volkswagen. We can handle all of your tire care needs, from performing a wheel alignment to rotating your tires. Be sure to take a look at our current service specials before setting up your next appointment, and contact us if you have any questions. 

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