How Do I Check Tire Tread Depth?

Car tires on winter road covered with snow

If you think you might require new tires, you might be wondering, “How do I check tire tread wear to make sure?” Checking tire tread depth is actually pretty simple. All you need is a ruler or a penny. Find out how you can check your tire tread depth at home with tips from the Mercedes-Benz of West Chester service center!

More About the Recommended Tire Tread Depth

Tire treads for new tires typically measure 10/32 to 11/32 of an inch — about a third of an inch. Exceptions to this depth include some winter tire and SUV tires, as well as off-road tires that require deeper treads.

Once your tire tread reaches a 2/32 of an inch, the U.S. Department of Transportation says it’s time to replace your tires. Proper tire care and tread depth are important to your safety, as well as extending the life of your tires.

Checking Tread Depth with a Penny

While a ruler is going to be more accurate in checking tread depth, a penny will work for a quick check. Follow these steps to check the tread depth with a standard U.S. penny:

  1. Place a penny with Lincoln’s head face first into a tire’s tread groove.
  2. Check to see if Lincoln’s head is covered and no longer visible between the grooves.
  3. If all of Lincoln’s face is visible, that means your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep and you’ll need to replace the tires.
  4. Repeat this process in multiple locations on all four tires.

What Are Some Other Methods of Checking Tire Health?

If you want to make the investment, there are specialty tools, such as a tire tread depth gauge, or tread wear bars that are available in Monroe to check your tires. These tools have a visible mark built into the tire, which indicates the 2/32 inch mark. In addition to checking your tire tread depth, you’ll also want to inspect:

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

Schedule Tire Maintenance with Mercedes-Benz of West Chester

Whether you need help checking the tire tread depth, or find yourself in need of new tires, you can find help at the Mercedes-Benz of West Chester tire center. Before paying us a visit, make sure to check our parts and service specials to get a great price! Have questions about other common service tips, like why a car shakes when braking? Consult our online service tips to learn more.

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