How to Check Tire Tread Depth

July 21st, 2022 by
2023 Honda HRV Alloy Wheels

Maintaining strong tires will keep you moving with ease on Redmond roads and beyond, and you might be thinking: “How do I check tire tread wear?” Thankfully, you can easily add this to your regular auto service routine with our easy guide on how to check your tire tread depth from the automotive service experts at Honda of Kirkland today!

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth? 

Brand new tires typically have a tread depth of about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch), and it’s recommended that you replace your tires once the tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Certain specialty sets like winter tires and tires designed for off-roading in trucks and SUVs will even come with deeper tread grooves to handle the elements. How long it takes your treads to wear depends on your driving habits.

How to Check Tire Tread Depth: The Penny Test

If you have a ruler around, this is an easy and accurate way to check tire tread depth, or you can also use the trusted penny test for a quick gauge on your tire wear. Find any U.S. penny you have in the car or around the house and follow these simple steps: 

  1. Insert a penny with Lincoln head-first into a tire tread groove.
  2. Observe if Lincoln’s head is covered and no longer visible between the grooves.
  3. 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.
  4. Repeat this process on all four tires and in multiple locations on each tire.

How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear Using Other Methods?

Even if you don’t have an extra penny somewhere in the car or around, checking your tire tread depth can be done in the following ways as well: 

  • Tread Depth Gauge: One way to check your tire tread wear without a penny is with a tread depth gauge. You would need to purchase it, but many Seattle car owners will find it to be an affordable and worthwhile investment. Simply insert the probe into the shallowest tread groove, then press the top bar of the gauge flat against the tire to see the tread wear rating.
  • Tread Wear Bars: Most tires come with tread wear indicator bars built into them. You’ll find them at the bottom of the tread grooves in multiple locations across the tire. If the bars are flush with the tire ribs that surround them, it indicates that the tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch.

Maintain Your Tire Tread Depth at Honda of Kirkland

Now that you know how to check the tire tread depth, you can ensure your ride maintains a steady ride on Seattle roads. Find more helpful service tips and tricks at Honda of Kirkland to keep your vehicle running at its best along with many other ways to save with our rotating service specials and coupons. You can even order OEM parts online for sale and have them ready for your next visit. Contact us today for more information and to schedule an appointment at our dealership in Kirkland!

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