How to Measure Tire Tread Depth

October 2nd, 2019 by

tire tread closeup

No one wants to drive on worn, unsafe tires, so learning how to measure tire tread depth will help you know when it’s time for some new tire replacements. There are a number of simple ways Waterford drivers can do this themselves, from the well-known tire tread depth penny test to using a specially-designed tire tread depth gauge. We’ll also go over what a brand new tire tread depth should be, and what the minimum tread depth is. Read on to find out about whether or not your vehicle has reached the minimum tire tread depth and what you can do to fix it.

What Is the Recommended Minimum Tire Tread Depth?

Your average brand-new tire tread depth is 10/32″ or 11/32″, and if you’re driving a truck or SUV, they may be even deeper. So, what is the minimum tire tread depth? When you check your tire tread depth, 2/32″ is the magic number. It represents the minimum threshold for safe driving on Grand Blanc roads. When you get close to 2/32″, you can expect to see a decrease in your tire performance, especially in inclement weather conditions. At this point, it’s time to take your vehicle in for tire service.

The Tire Tread Depth Penny Test

If you feel like your tires may be getting worn out, the penny test is a simple way to check your tread depth. Take a penny, and place it in the groove created by your tread ribs, which are the raised part of your tire. Point Lincoln’s head down into the tread, and see if it disappears inside the ribs. If you can’t see his head, you have plenty of tread above 2/32″. If you can see his whole head, your tread is getting worn out. Perform the tire tread depth penny test on all of your tires and in various spots on each tire. If anywhere falls below the 2/32″ mark, replace your tires.

Tire Tread Depth Gauge

Tire tread depth gauges are available at any auto parts store in greater Lake Orion and are another easy way to measure your available tread. They’re designed to provide an exact measurement in thirty-seconds of an inch and millimeters. Your tires are also equipped with indicator bars. You won’t be able to see these at brand new tire tread depth, but they’ll appear once you’ve reached the minimum tire tread depth.

How Often Should You Change Your Tires?

This can vary greatly depending upon how much driving you do, on what kind of terrain, in what climate, and what type of driver you are. Thus, it’s best to go by your tread depth and to consult your owner’s manual for specific recommendations. That’s because the common rule of thumb has it that you should replace your tires every 25,000 to 50,000 miles. With 25,000 miles worth of room for variation, it’s not much of a recommendation.

Bowman Chevrolet Tire Service

If you landed on this guide because you were asking yourself, “what is the minimum tire tread depth?”, and you discovered that you’re eminently due for replacement, Bowman Chevrolet can help. We provide all types of tire service, including tire rotations and tire patching. We’ll help go over a tire tread depth chart with you for an even more in-depth overview and you how to evaluate how much life is left on your tires in the future. Book your appointment with Bowman Chevrolet in Clarkston today by calling (248) 795-1841.

Don’t forget to check out our service specials to see if you can save on your next maintenance. Have additional questions? Be sure to consult our Chevrolet service tips for helpful overviews for common service concerns like how often to change your oil.


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