How to Check Tire Tread Depth

tire treads

Are you asking, "How do I check tire tread wear?" don't worry - Audi Stratham is here with the answers you need. To learn how to check tire tread depth, you'll simply need a ruler or a penny! Below, our service team will go over the basics of ensuring your tires have the proper tread depth. Learn more today!

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

If you're hoping to retain a safe commute from Nashua to Manchester, you're likely wondering about the proper tread depth for your tires. In most cases, new tires have a tread depth of about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch). If you have tires built for taking on our Concord winters or designed for off-roading out past Portsmouth, you may have deeper grooves. Additionally, some truck and SUV tires also have deeper tread grooves. 

Once your tires hit 2/32 of an inch, you're due for new tires according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Proper tread depth is essential for maintaining traction and stability on your Stratham drives. If you need new tires, book an appointment with us at your earliest convenience to ensure safe driving. Below, you'll find a few different methods to learn how to check tire tread depth.

The Penny Test

Have you wondered, "How do I check tire tread wear in a hurry?" The penny test is perfect for you! While a ruler is the most accurate measure, a penny works great in a pinch. The way the U.S penny has been designed makes it the ideal tool for checking tire tread depth. Follow these steps to learn the penny method for checking tire tread depth:

  1. Insert your penny into the tread groove with Lincoln's head facing down.
  2. Note if Lincoln's head is covered by the grooves and is no longer visible. 
  3. If you can see the entirety of Lincoln's head, that indicates that the tread is 2/32 inches deep or less. If that's the case, you'll need to replace your tires. 
  4. Repeat this process on each tire and check multiple locations on all four tires to be certain.

How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear Using Other Methods?

In today's world, you may not be carrying spare change around anymore. So, you may not have a penny handy when you need to check your tire tread. Here are a few other ways to check tire tread depth:

  • Tread Depth Gauge: A foolproof way to measure tread depth is with a tread depth gauge. While you will need to make the extra investment in this tool, you'll find that it's affordable and worth the price. With this tool, 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: Many new tires have tread wear indicator bars built into them. You'll notice them at the bottom of the tread grooves in multiple locations around the tire. If the bars are equal to the tire ribs around them, it signals that the tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch. 

Turn to Audi Stratham for All Things Automotive

If you've noticed that your tire tread is getting low or you're not sure if you need new tires, turn to Audi Stratham. Our friendly team is here to inspect your vehicle at all times and keep you traveling with peace of mind. Explore our service specials before your next visit, and be sure to contact us with any questions.