Are you wondering how to check tire tread depth without making a trip down the service lane? There are lots of simple ways to check your tire tread at home in Matthews or Indian Trail. In fact, even if all you’ve got on hand is a penny or a ruler, you already have some of the necessary supplies. In the guide below, Hendrick Porsche answers “how do I check tire tread wear?” with our top at-home service tips.
First, What’s a Safe Tire Tread Depth?
It won’t do you much good to know your tire tread depth if you’re not sure what a safe tread depth is. When your tires are new, their tread depth is about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (equal to about ⅓ of an inch). Winter tires and all-terrain tires might have an even deeper tread depth.
At what point is tread depth considered too shallow for safe travels in Pineville? The U.S. Department of Transportation states that tires should be replaced when the tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch. Without proper tread, you’ll have a tough time gripping the road, especially in poor weather conditions.
How to Check Tire Tread Depth with a Penny
The most accurate and efficient way to measure tread depth is with a ruler, but if you can’t find one, a U.S. penny will do just fine. Believe it or not, Abe Lincoln’s face serves as the perfect measurement tool to see how close or far your tire tread is from the 2/32 of an inch rule:
With Lincoln situated head-first, insert your penny into a tread groove.
Check if Lincoln’s head is made invisible by the tread grooves.
If all of Lincoln’s head is visible, your tires’ treads have reached 2/32 of an inch or less and need to be replaced.
To ensure accuracy, repeat the penny test on all four tires, at varying points in the tread grooves.
How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear Using Other Tools?
Don’t have a penny on hand? There are a couple of other ways you can check your tread depth:
Tire Tread Gauge: Tread depth gauges are pretty inexpensive and a worthwhile investment. Stick the probe at the bottom of the gauge into the lowest tread groove you can find. Then, slide the “shoulders” of the tread depth gauge down until they’re flat against the tire. Check the gauge to see where your tread depth is at.
Built-In Tread Wear Bars: Did you know your tires have tread wear bars built right into them that are designed to show you when the tread depth is too low? The bars look like small, rectangular notches and are placed at the bottom of the tread grooves in numerous locations on the tire. If the indicator bars are level with the surrounding tread grooves, you’ll know the tread depth has reached 2/32 of an inch or less.
Tire Tread Depth Chart
Now that you’ve picked up a few methods for how to check tire treads, how can you interpret your current tread depth? Check this tire tread depth chart for more information:
6 – 8 mm tire tread: Good
4 – 5 mm tire tread: Acceptable
3 mm tire tread: Check tread depth monthly
1 – 2 mm tire tread: Schedule tire replacement
Need New Tires? Visit Us in Charlotte
Do you need new tires? Whether you’re shopping for tires for your Porsche or for another type of vehicle, we have just what you need in Charlotte. Visit us or get in touch with our parts department to get started today.
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