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How to Check Tire Tread Depth

Checking tire tread with a penny


There’s no more important safety precaution to take on the roads of Sarasota than ensuring your tires are in good shape. If you came here wondering, “How do I check tire tread wear?”, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll cover everything you need to know to safeguard yourself from future blowouts. If you have questions or need tire replacement, schedule for service at Cox Mazda in Bradenton.

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

On average, new tires have a tread depth between 10/32 to 11/32 of an inch. If your tread hits 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace your tires. Bear in mind that off-roading and winter tires have even deeper grooves, and the above figures only apply to your average tire for everyday driving.

The Penny Test

So, how do you check tire tread wear? The simplest, most convenient way for Tampa drivers to keep tabs on their tread is the penny tire test. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Place a penny into a tire tread groove. Lincoln should be submerged head-first into the tread.
  2. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, replace your tires asap. If part of his head remains submerged, you still have some meat on your tires.
  3. Repeat this process on all four tires and in multiple locations on each tire.

How To Check Tire Tread Wear Using Other Methods

There are a number of other easy ways to check your tire tread. These include:

  • Tread Wear Bars: The majority of tires come with tread wear indicator bars. You’ll find them at the bottom of the grooves in your tire tread. If they’re flush with the ribs of your tires, it means that you’re due for replacements.
  • Tread Depth Gauge: You can buy a tire tread gauge from our parts department. You’ll simply insert the probe into your shallowest tread groove. Then you’ll press the top bar of the gauge flat against the bottom of the tread groove to see your tread wear rating.

Have More Questions About How to Check Tire Tread Depth?

If you read our answer to the question, “How do I check tire tread wear?”, and you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to call our service department in Bradenton at (941) 749-2701. We’ll clear up any confusion Palmetto drivers may have. Are you curious about other car care topics? Be sure to check out our service tips and parts tips for information about how often to rotate your tires and more!

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