How to Check Tire Tread

Car tire

Uneven tire tread wear can be dangerous on the road in Hudson, and proactive tire care is a great way to keep tabs on your tire treads. If your next thought is, “Sounds good, but how do I check tire tread wear?” —you’re in luck! Read the guide below to learn how to check tire tread depth from the expert Mazda technicians at the Tulley Mazda service center.

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth? 

When new, tires have a tread depth of about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch). Certain tire types—like all-weather tires, off-road tires, and some truck and SUV tires—may have even deeper treads.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, it’s time to replace your tires when tire tread depth gets down to 2/32 of an inch. Replacing your tires in a timely manner to maintain proper tire tread depth is a key part of staying safe on the road in Merrimack. Below, we’ll go over how to measure tire tread depth and more DIY tips for extending the life of your tires.

Measuring Tire Tread Depth: The Penny Test

The easier way to check your treads is to use a ruler, but if you’re checking your treads on-the-go or at the gas station, you can also use a penny. Lincoln’s head works perfectly as a tool to measure your treads! Here’s how to check tire tread depth using the penny test:

  1. With Lincoln head-first, insert the penny into a tire tread groove.
  2. Is Lincoln’s head completely covered by the tire? If yes, your tire treads are in great shape.
  3. If all of Lincoln’s head is visible, your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep—or less—and it’s time to schedule Mazda tire service.
  4. Repeat the penny test on all four tires, and in multiple locations on each tire.

How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear Using Other Methods?

“How do I check tire tread wear if I don’t carry pennies or rulers in my pocket?” Good question! Not to worry—there are several other tools you can use to test tire tread depth. Here are a few to try out:

  • Tread Depth Gauge — You can purchase a tool specifically designed to test tire tread depth. Just insert the probe into the shallowest tread groove and press the top bar of the gauge flat against the tire. The gauge will display the tread wear rating.
  • Tread Wear Bars — Most tires actually come with tread wear indicator bars at the bottom of the tread grooves in multiple locations across the tire. If the bars have worn down and are flush with the tire ribs, tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch.

Find Expert MAZDA Tire Care in Nashua 

Drop by our tire care center near Lowell, and our expert Mazda technicians will thoroughly inspect your tires for wear and other issues. While you’re here, explore parts and service specials to see how much you can save on tire care today!

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