How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear?

Mechanic hand on tire and wheel

If you’ve never checked the tread depth of your tires before, you might be wondering how it’s done and why it’s necessary. As one of the easiest vehicle safety checks you can perform at home, evaluating tire tread wear involves very little equipment and expertise. If you have a few minutes and access to a ruler or a penny, the experts at Land Rover Princeton near South Brunswick can walk you through how to check your tire tread depth. Read on for more information, or contact us if you have any questions.

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

New tires generally have a tread depth of about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch). Winter tires, tires designed for off-roading, and some truck and SUV tires may have even deeper tread grooves. It is important to consult a trained professional when shopping for new tires in order to ensure peak safety and performance of your vehicle.

At about 2/32 of an inch, the U.S. Department of Transportation recommends that tires be replaced. If your tire tread depth is 2/32 of an inch or less, schedule an appointment with our service department near Mount Laurel today.

The Penny Test

While a ruler is the most accurate way to check tire tread depth, a penny will do in a pinch. The design on the U.S. penny makes it the perfect on-the-go tool to measure your tire tread wear. Follow these steps to check the tread depth of your tires:

  1. Insert a penny, Lincoln’s head face down, into a tire tread groove.
  2. If you can see all of Lincoln’s face, that means your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less and it’s time to replace them.
  3. Repeat this process on all four tires and in multiple locations on each tire.

Hopewell drivers can also purchase specialized tools to check tire tread wear, such as a tire tread depth gauge or tread wear bars.

More Ways to Check Tire Health

While checking your tire tread depth is important, here are some additional things to watch for when inspecting your tires:

  • Tire pressure
  • Visible tire damage
  • Foreign objects, such as screws or nails
  • Tire rot or disintegration
  • Wheel alignment

Maintain Your Tires at Land Rover Princeton

When you take your vehicle to our service center in Princeton, the technicians will inspect your tires for any issues or wear. When it’s time to replace your tires, visit our service center, and be sure to check our parts and service specials to get a great deal!

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