How to Check Tire Treads

A simple way to maintain your vehicle and ensure safety on the road is by regularly checking the condition of your tire treads. Worn or damaged treads lower your vehicle’s ability to properly maneuver or brake and can also have serious effects on your vehicle’s fuel economy.

At Jaguar Albuquerque, our tire center is here to provide drivers throughout Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and South Valley, NM, with top-quality service and aim to be your main tire source when you need it. So, if you’re wondering how to check tire treads, continue reading to learn more.

How Do I Know If My Tire Tread Is Good?

A tire tread is the part of the wheel that makes actual contact with the road surface. Deep grooves allow the vehicle to better grip the pavement in order to make braking and maneuvering around bends and curves easier to manage. A healthy tire tread depth should average around 10/32nds or 1/3 of an inch. If you have snow or off-road tires, the treads will most likely be deeper.

Depending on your driving style and local road conditions, a brand-new set of tires should last between 40,000 to 60,000 miles. When you reach this range, start making it a point to regularly inspect your treads for wear or damage. A general rule to follow when considering safe tread depth:

  • 4/32’’ or deeper = Good condition
  • 3/32’’ = Replace tires soon
  • 2/32’’ or less = Unsafe. Replace tires.

Driving with treads below 2/32’’ is dangerous and significantly decreases your vehicle’s stopping power. The moment you notice your tire treads fall below this level, you need to schedule an appointment at your local tire center.

How Can I Check My Tire Tread Without a Ruler?

Method 1: Treadwear Indicator Bar

Indicator bars are molded between your tire treads at the bottom of the tread groove. When they become visibly flush with the ribs of the tire, it’s a clear sign that you have little more than 2/32″ of tread remaining. You should immediately schedule to have the worn-out tires replaced.

Method 2: The Penny/Quarter Test

If you’re having difficulty locating the indicator bar, simply take a penny and insert it into your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head pointing into the tire tread. If you’re able to see his entire profile, your tires are worn.

Likewise, a quarter works just as well. Insert the quarter, so Washington’s head is pointing inside the tread groove. If the tread obscures Washington’s forehead, your treads are healthy. If his head is fully exposed, replace the tire immediately.

Schedule Service at Our Tire Center Today!

Don’t risk a breakdown or serious accident due to neglect. At Jaguar Albuquerque, it’s our goal to be the number one tire source for drivers throughout Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and South Valley. So, if you check your tire treads and notice they’re low, be sure to schedule a maintenance appointment today!

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