How Do I Check Tire Tread Depth?

Car Tire on Snowy Road

How do I check tire tread wear and tread depth? Checking the depth of your tire treads is easy–all you need is a ruler or even a penny to make sure that your tires aren’t worn too thin. Learn how to check tire tread depth below, and get additional tire care tips from your local authorized Land Rover West Chester service center near Philadelphia.

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

New tires start out with a tread depth of 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch). When there is only 2/32 of an inch of tread depth left, it’s time to change your tires according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Driving on tires with thin treads can lead to blowouts, flats, and even accidents on Exton roads, so it’s important to replace your tires when they reach this tread depth.

Some specialty tire treads start out with deeper grooves, and may need to be changed sooner depending on the intensity of the job they have to do:

  • Off-roading Tires
  • Winter Tires
  • Some Truck and SUV Tires

The Penny Test

You can use a ruler to measure tire tread depth, but if you can’t find a ruler in your house or you want to check your tires while you’re on the road, all you need is a penny. Follow these steps to check the tread depth with the penny method:

  1. Insert a penny–with Lincoln’s head face-first–into a tire tread groove.
  2. Check if Lincoln’s head is covered and no longer visible between the grooves.
  3. If you can see all of Lincoln’s face sticking out of the tread groove, then your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less.
  4. If Lincoln’s face is covered by the tread, then you have enough tread depth remaining.
  5. Use this test on all four tires and in multiple locations on each tire to ensure that your tires are wearing evenly.
  6. If you notice some tires are more worn than others but the tread depth isn’t too low, then it’s time to rotate your tires to even out the tread wear.

Other methods for checking tire tread depth include:

  1. Tire tread depth gauge
  2. Treadwear bars: a visible mark built into some tires to indicate the 2/32-inch mark

Maintain Your Tires at Land Rover West Chester

When it’s time to replace your tires, the Land Rover tire source to make sure you can find tires that are Land Rover-approved and right for your model. You can also check our service specials near Chester Springs if you want certified technicians to rotate or replace your tires, and learn more about Land Rover VIP service to get the ultimate star treatment at your local authorized Land Rover retailer. You can also check out more car care tips like what to put in your winter emergency car kit at Land Rover West Chester.