How to Check Your Tire Tread

Mechanic fixing tires



As your car tires are in constant contact with the road, it’s very important you keep them in the best condition possible. One way to do this is to routinely check the tire tread depth. Many drivers ask, “How do I check tire tread depth?” You can learn by using our helpful service guide at Rallye Lexus. If you’d rather have a professional take a look, don’t hesitate to contact our service team!

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

New tires start with a tread depth of 10/32” to 11/32”. Typically, you can tell when they are ready to be replaced once they wear down to 2/32” or less of tread depth. Driving around on balding tires will increase the chance of a flat tire or blowout, which can be more dangerous when traveling at high speeds on highways. If your vehicle is equipped with off-roading tires or winter tires, they may need to be checked or even replaced more often as they have deeper treads that wear quickly in those types of road conditions.

The Penny Test

So, how do you check your tire tread depth? There are a few ways this can be done. If you have a tire tread depth gauge, that’s your best bet. However, if you don’t have that tool handy, simply pull out a penny for the penny test. Here’s how to check your tire tread depth with a penny:

  1. Insert a penny with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you into a tire tread groove.
  2. Check if Lincoln’s head is covered and no longer visible between the grooves.
  3. If Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, then you have enough tread depth remaining.
  4. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, then your tire treads are 2/32” deep or less, and it’s time to get a new tire.

You’ll want to use this test on all four tires in multiple locations on each tire to ensure they are wearing evenly. If you notice that the tread depth isn’t too low, but there are some tires worn more than the others, you should have your tires rotated to even out the wear. Some tires even come with tread wear indicator bars to help the driver see when the tread has been worn down. These are located at the bottom of the tread grooves in a few locations on each tire. Once the bars are flush with the tread, it means that there is 2/32” or less tread remaining.

Get Expert Tire Care at Rallye Lexus

If you’re still curious about how to check tire tread wear, the service team at Rallye Lexus can help. Our technicians can help with tire inspections, tire rotations, and even replacements if needed. We even have a tire center to help drivers find the right tires for their driving needs. Check out our available service specials in the meantime so you can save on the services your vehicle needs. Have questions or looking for other service tips and tricks? Contact us today!