How To Test The Tread On Your Tires

Tire Penny Tread Test

Keeping an eye on the tread depth of your tires is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to make sure that your vehicle is safe and roadworthy. It can be easy to forget about the tread on your tires, particularly when you’re more focused on where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, but it’s essential to make sure you get into the habit of checking the tread on your tires regularly.

The easiest rule to remember is if the tread on your tires is above 2/32’’ then your tires are ok. If they are 2/32’’ or lower, then they are legally bald and need replacing.

You may well have heard that you can use a penny to test the tread on your tires. Although it sounds somewhat bizarre, it is, in fact, true, the good old penny test is a reliable method of testing out the depth of the tread on your tires. 

How Does The Penny Test Work?

The penny test couldn’t be more straightforward, all you need to do is insert a penny into the grooves of your tire tread upside down, making sure that the head of Lincoln is heading into the groove, make sure you check several grooves to check for uneven wear across and around the tires. If some of Lincoln’s head is covered, then it means you have at least 2/32’’ of tread remaining, and it’s fine to keep using your tires. If all of Lincoln’s head can is visible, then it’s time to replace your tires.

Other Ways To Test Your Tire Tread 

The Quarter Test 

If you don’t have a penny handy, don’t worry, you can use a quarter to test out your tire tread depth. The quarter test works in the same way as the penny test, simply insert a quarter into a few grooves on your tire, making sure that Washington’s head is heading into the tire groove. If the tread covers some of Washington’s head, then you have at least 4/32″ of tread remaining, and your tires are fine to use

Tire Tread Wear Indicators 

Tires on many vehicles have tread wear indicators. Tread wear indicators are spaced evenly through the main grooves of the tire tread. If these indicators are flush with the level of the tread, then the tire must be replaced. Another way of telling that the tire needs replacing is when the small raised bumps within the grooves of the tire become level when you run your finger across them. If this is the case, then replace your tires accordingly.

Tire Tread Gauge 

A Tire Tread Gauge is another way of checking your tire tread. Insert the probe bar into the groove of your tire and push the shoulders until they are level with the tread. Carefully remove the gauge by holding its barrel, you’ll then be able to confirm the reading. Be careful not to press the gauge into any raised surfaces on the tire as this may invalidate the result.

Ask The Experts 

If you’re concerned about the tread depth of your tires and need a second opinion then contact Wheels Direct and ask our expert staff for a second opinion on any questions you may have about your tires. If the tread depth on your tires is running low, then we can tell you which tires are right for your vehicle.

You can also check out our online store to view tires for sale, and be back on your way to getting your car back on the road with the exact tires you need!

Free Shipping on Domestic U.S. Orders