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How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear?

Winter tire wheels using 4WD


Maintaining the health of your vehicle starts with knowing how to make sure you’re not suffering any unwanted wear and tear. Finding out how to maintain your tires properly can go a long way, and it’s something that many drivers ask our service center. Find out how to check tire tread wear yourself to make sure that your vehicle isn’t running the risk of a blowout. Keep reading to find out how to check tread depth with DeNooyer Chevrolet, and schedule a service appointment today if you think something is wrong. 



What Is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth? 

When you pick up a brand-new set of tires in Portage, they’ll have a tread depth of about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch). Specialized tires, like winter and off-roading tires, might have even deeper tread grooves. Additionally, truck and SUV tires can have extra tread depth compared to a small sedan or hatchback.

So, when do you need to replace your set? The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends getting new tires when the tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch on your current set. Your tire tread is vital to maintaining proper handling, so your safety and performance can be compromised if your tread levels are too low.

What Are the Methods of Checking Tread Depth?

Checking your tread depth is simple, and you can use a wide variety of tools to get the job done. 

  • Ruler: A ruler can accurately measure your remaining tread depth. Just place the ruler into the grooves and take a reading. 
  • Tread Depth Gauge: While a ruler will be accurate, a tread depth gauge can be more convenient for Galesburg drivers. Found in any automotive parts department, this tool features a probe that is inserted into the shallowest tread groove. Simply press the top bar of the gauge flat against the tire to see the tread wear rating.
  • Tread Wear Bars: Some tires include tread wear indicator bars built into the bottom of the tread grooves. Once the bars are flush with the tire ribs that surround them, it indicates that the tread depth is 2/32 of an inch.

How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear With a Penny?

Learning how to check tire tread depth doesn’t have to cost much. In fact, you can even use a regular penny to keep tabs on your tread in Mattawan. Here’s how:

  1. Insert the penny with Lincoln’s head pointed down into a tire tread groove.
  2. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, that means your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less, and it’s time to replace them.
  3. If Lincoln’s head is not completely visible, it means your tread level is greater than 2/32 inches deep.
  4. Repeat this process on all four tires and in multiple locations on each tire.

Get Quality Car Service at DeNooyer Chevrolet

Whether you’re still wondering how to check tread depth, or you think your vehicle is due for an oil change, let our team take care of the process for you. Contact us today with any questions that you might still have, and we’ll make sure you get them answered today.

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Main 269-743-3428 Sales 269-743-3428
5800 Stadium Dr.
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Contact Us

Contact Us

Main 269-743-3428 Sales 269-743-3428
5800 Stadium Dr.
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
DeNooyer Chevrolet 42.2667, -85.6626.