If you find yourself wondering, “How do I check tire tread wear?” don’t worry–Walla Walla Valley Honda has the answers. A simple ruler or penny is all you need, and you can check your tire tread depth at home in Tri-Cities! Discover the different ways you can check your tread depth below, then contact us at Walla Walla Valley Honda if you have questions!

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

For new tires, treads should have a depth of 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch). Though there are some exceptions like winter tires, off-roading tires, as well as some truck and SUV tires. These specialty tires may have even deeper tread grooves.

Once the tread has worn down to 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace your tires according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Proper tire tread depth is essential to safe driving in Walla Walla, and proper tire care can even extend to life of your tires.

The Penny Test

While a ruler will give you the most accurate measurement, a penny is another easy way to test tire treads if you don’t have a ruler handy. The unique design on the U.S. penny makes it the perfect household tool to measure your tire wear. To check your tire tread with a penny, follow these simple steps:

  1. Insert a penny with Lincoln’s head face first into the tire tread groove.
  2. Look to see if Lincoln’s head is covered and no longer visible between the grooves.
  3. If you can see all of Lincoln’s face, then it is time for new tires, because your tire treads are 2/32 inches deep or less.
  4. Repeat this process on all four tires and in multiple locations on each tire.

penny test for tire tread

More Ways to Check Tire Health

If you want to try a more precise method, there are special tools available in Kennewick to check your tires. The most common tools include a tire tread depth gauge or tread wear bar. These have a visible mark built into the tire which indicates the 2/32 inch mark. While you are checking your tire tread depth, some more things inspect include:

  • Tire pressure
  • Any visible tire damage
  • Tire rot or disintegration
  • Wheel alignment

Maintain Your Tires at Walla Walla Valley Honda

If you have questions about your tires, when you bring your vehicle into our local tire center for regular maintenance, our technicians can check them for any issues or wear. Contact us today, and be sure to check our parts specials to get a great deal!

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