How to Measure Tire Tread Depth

September 10th, 2018 by

Checking Tire Tread

A set of well-maintained tires can lead to better performance, safety, and even fuel economy – but do you know how to measure tire tread depth properly? Many drivers find themselves neglecting this simple task, but it’s easy to do a quick inspection from the comfort of your own home. And with the right tire care, you can expect a longer lifespan out of your set and avoid costly repairs. Let’s go into the basics of tire tread depth, so you know exactly when to replace tires.

Tire Tread Depth

So, what is the ideal tire tread depth? A brand new set of tires comes with around 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch of tread, depending on make and model. Once your tread dips to 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace your set. Here are some of the tools that you can use:

  • Indicator Bars: Some vehicles come with indicator or wear bars that sit inside the tread ribs. When you see the tread is even with the wear bars, head to the tire center for a replacement set.
  • Tire Gauge: A tire tread depth gauge is a simple, precise, and inexpensive way to measure tread. Pick one up at the dealership and we’ll be happy to demonstrate how to use it like a pro.
  • Penny Test: When it comes to convenience, nothing beats the penny test. Just insert a penny into the tread rib with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see his entire head, your tread is not deep enough.

When to Replace Tires

So, your tire tread depth is getting a little low. What should you do? It’s important to start planning and budgeting to replace your tires promptly. When your tread is too low, the tires may struggle to grab the road. This is particularly true in wet and slick conditions when the risk of hydroplaning and slipping increases. If you have any concerns, feel free to ask one of our technicians for advice at our Southfield dealership. We can tell you exactly when to replace tires!

Learn More About Tire Care with Tamaroff Nissan

Now that you know how to measure tire tread depth, learn more about proper tire care with the staff at Tamaroff Nissan: Are tire rotations necessary? Then stop by our dealership near West Bloomington and Farmington Hills for all your auto needs!

Looking for more how-to guides? Learn how to trade in your car today, or learn more about used car mileage with our team.