4 Ways On How To Check Tire Tread Depth

The rubber on a tire that comes into contact with the road is its ‘tread’. As you drive, the tread...

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T he rubber on a tire that comes into contact with the road is its ‘tread’. As you drive, the tread of your tire wears down. This is why it is important to know how to check tire tread depth. The tread depth in new tires is usually 8-9 millimeters, which is the optimum depth. A tire that has a tread depth which is below 1.6 millimeters is unsafe since it will not provide adequate traction. 1.6mm is also the legal minimum requirement for the tread depth of tires in the UK. 

Keeping a regular check on your tire’s tread depth is very crucial since an insufficient tread depth impairs the vehicle’s controls and its braking distance. This is specifically important during varying weather conditions like a rainy day, or a snowy season which can hamper your safety. 

It was discovered in a study that out of all the automobile accidents that occurred in the US within a year, almost 1/4th were because of inadequate tread depth of tires. While a mechanic is usually the person that checks this for people, it is fairly easy to monitor this by yourself with the methods listed below: 

Using A Penny To Check The Tire Tread Depth

The penny test is one of the oldest and one of the quickest ways to test whether your tire tread depth is good to go. The way to put this test to use is by placing a penny with Abraham Lincoln’s head facing downwards. This is inserted into the space that is present between the tread blocks on your tire. 

Your tread depth is legally not okay if the president’s head can be seen completely, making it under 1.5mm. You will have to replace your tire immediately in this scenario. However, if Abe’s head is covered in any way, it means that the tire is fine to use. 

Using a Tire Tread Depth Gauge To Check The Tire Tread Depth

The test using the coin is most commonly used and does work, it was recognized by the automobile industry that a specific tool is needed that can measure the tire tread accurately. This is the tire tread depth gauge. 

This tool is affordable with a price of below $10. In return for this small investment, you get to have an accurate reading of your tread depth instead of basing your calculations on guesswork on the use of a coin. 

In case you do not have this gauge on you and you need to urgently check the depth, a ruler can be used as an alternative tool to measure this. While doing these checks, you must ensure that the test is being done on the lowest depth of the tire to avoid any miscalculations. 

Keeping A Close Eye On The Tire Tread Wear Bar Indicator 

One of the other ways you can check the tire tread depth is by using the wear bars located on the tires of your vehicle. These bars are present on almost all tires and can be found in multiple locations of the same. 

These platforms are right at the base of the tread grooves at 1.5mm depth. Therefore, when the tire starts to wear out, it will reduce to the same depth as these bars and when aligned, will act as an indicator for you to get your tires changed. This is only possible if you keep a close look at this physical aspect of your tires which will act as a resourceful method. 

While these techniques will come in handy for you to keep track of your tire’s maintenance, it is always advisable that you check in with your mechanic in case you are not sure about whether you need to get your tires changed. We hope that these 4 ways to check tire tread depth prove to be useful to you. Additionally, you will be able to find multiple online resources on how to prevent your tires from getting worn out too quickly to increase their life.