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How to Check Tire Tread Depth

close up of tire tread


You can keep up with tire rotations on time, but your tires will still wear and tire over time. One way to figure out when it is time for new tires is by checking the tire tread depth. Measuring tire tread depth is straightforward and can even be done with a ruler or penny right from your Milton garage. Learn more about how to check tire tread depth below with the service team at Sandy Sansing. 

Suggested Tire Tread Depth 

New tires will have a tread depth of about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch). If you have winter tires and tires designed for off-roading, they will probably have deeper tread grooves. Some trucks and SUVs may have more depth as well. 

If your tire tread depth is at 2/32 of an inch, then you will need to replace your tires according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Tires with the recommended tread depth are crucial to your and your passengers’ safety on the Ferry Pass roads. 

How To Check Tire Tread Depth: The Penny Test

Many drivers use a ruler to measure the depth accurately, but if you don’t have one handy, you can use a penny instead. This is how you can check the tire tread depth with a penny: 

  1. Put a penny with Lincoln head-first into a tire tread groove.
  2. See if Lincoln’s head is covered and no longer visible between the grooves.
  3. See all of Lincoln’s head? Then, your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less, so it’s time to replace them.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 on all four tires and in multiple locations on each tire to see if you need to replace other tires. 

How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear Using Other Methods?

Maybe you don’t have a penny on hand either. You can try other methods in Cantonment, such as: 

  • Tread Depth Gauge: Invest in a tread depth gauge. All you have to do is put the probe into the shallowest tread groove and then press the top bar of the gauge flat against the tire to see the treadwear rating.
  • Tread Wear Bars: A good majority of tires come with tread wear indicator bars built into them. They’re usually at the bottom of the tread grooves in multiple locations across the tire. If the bars are flush with the tire ribs that surround them, it shows that the tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch.

Take Care of Your Tires at Sandy Sansing

Get your tires back in proper working shape when you stop by a service center in one of our locations in the Pensacola area. Depending on which make your car is, you will find more catered service! See which one of our locations you should go to below and contact us accordingly. With new tires, learn how to take care of them to get a longer usage by learning how to rotate them at home.

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