How To Check Tire Tread

Tire with quarter
If you’ve been spending a lot of time on the roads between Camden and Hertford, you might be asking yourself, “How do I check tire tread wear?” It can be hard to tell from the driver’s seat, but the staff at Carolina Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram can help you learn what to look for! Read on for details on ways to test your tires at home for wear, and stop by our Service Center in Elizabeth City if you have any other maintenance concerns.

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

As you drive on your tires, their tread depth will gradually decrease. Brand new tires have a tread depth of 10/32 to 11/32 of an inch, or about a third of an inch. Snow tires and tires designed for off-roading have even deeper tread grooves when brand new.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, it’s time to change your tires when tread depth is down to 2/32 of an inch. Proper tread depth is crucial to safe Edenton driving. However, proper tire care, including timely rotation, can lengthen the life of your tires by preserving the treads.

The Penny Test

The easiest way to measure tread depth is simply with a ruler — but if you’re on the road and don’t have one handy, you can also test the treads with a penny. Luckily, the penny’s design is another answer to the question, “How do I check tire tread wear?”:

  1. With Lincoln’s head face-first, insert a penny into a tire tread groove.
  2. Check whether the grooves of the tire cover Lincoln’s head.
  3. If you can see Lincoln’s whole face, it means your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less — meaning they are not safe for driving and should be replaced!
  4. Repeat on all four tires, being sure to check each tire in multiple locations.

More Ways to Check Tire Fitness

You can find special tools in Edenton car maintenance stores to check your tires — including a tire tread depth gauge, or you can buy tread wear bars with a visible mark built into the tire which indicates the 2/32-inch mark. While checking your tire tread depth, take the opportunity to also inspect a few other tire aspects:

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

Visit Carolina Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to Keep Your Tires in Shape!

If you have any more questions about tire maintenance, stop by our Service Department in Elizabeth City where our staff will be happy to help you out. Check out our blog for more car-buying tips, like what to look for when buying a new car or service tips like how to check coolant levels. You can also schedule service with us if your vehicle needs some TLC!

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Carolina Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram 36.283441, -76.234056.