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Get to Understand More about the Tire Tread Depth for Better Driving Experience

Get to Understand More about the Tire Tread Depth for Better Driving Experience

Right now, you might be thinking to yourself what tire tread depth is all about. Well, it is defined as the vertical measurement from the top of a tire tread to the bottom of the deepest grooves. It is a common thing that most users would want to know more about their tires before they can finally buy the tire. There are several ways involved in taking these measurements as we will get to see in this guide.

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tire tread depth gauge

Tire Tread Depth

Tread Depth of New Tires

It is common for the tire tread wear to happen to the tire over time, but it is important to know about the tread depth on new tires so that you can know when it is necessary to change them. On average for most manufacturers, they would make the new tires to have a starting tread depth of 10/32” to about 11/32”. It is often possible to have the dedicated winter and snow tires having deeper treads. The aim is to offer more grip in such extreme conditions.

Tire Tread Depth Chart – Minimum Tread Depth

The tread depth of new tires would maintain a great profile over some time, but at some point, you will have to measure tire tread to know if it is ready for some new tires or not. Using the tire tread depth chart as the reference, you can always learn more about the minimum amount of tire tread you have to know if the tire is still high or not. Once the tire goes beyond the given tire tread, you will have to change it, or you risk fines if found. The tire penny test is often used by most people when it comes to finding the current depth of the tire treads.

For the United States, the minimum tread depth is set at 2/32”. It is still legal in most states to drive on such tires, but you need to start working on getting yourself some new tires soon.

Tire Tread Wear

Any drive would check tire tread more often just to know if it is all great or not. When it comes to the tire tread wear, many factors come into play. All these factors can affect the durability of the tread of a tire. If you are new to them, sometimes you end up running through a tire faster than before. The common cause for the wearing of the tire tread depth is the inflating the tire with the wrong pressure. The bad pressure will always get the tire wearing out evenly.

If you have a car with misalignment issues, you can end up also having your tread wear on one side as compared to the others. Any time you notice that there is even wear on the tires, you have to get it looked just to make sure it does not have much of mechanical problems.

How to Measure Tread Depth

Penny Tire Test

You may want to do a simple test of the tire tread depth. The calls for using the penny tire test. The penny test for tires is often common among many users today. This type of test would involve using the U.S Lincoln penny for the measurement of the tread. When taking the measurement and the Lincoln’s head is entirely visible, it means that the tire would be worn out to about 2/32”. This means that your tires are still legal to drive around with, but you need to start preparing yourself to get some new tires.

tire tread depth

Other Ways to Check Tire Tread Depth

The other best way of learning about your tire tread depth is by using a tread depth gauge. Yes, such devices exist on the market, and they are the conventional way of knowing more about your tire tread depth. They are small tools you can keep in your glove compartment. You simply have to stick the probe in the tread valley and press the shoulders of the probe to be flat in the tread valley and take the reading. The gauges are made to be easy to read so that you do not have to do any calculations. You just read the value directly and make it out 32.

tire tread depth

Another way would be sticking your finger in the tread blocks for measuring the tire tread depth. When you feel that there are some little platforms between the blocks, then it means that the tire is at around 2/32”, which is the minimum recommended option. These platforms are called wear bars. Whenever you feel them, it is time to do the tire replacement. If there is some meat still on the valleys, then you should be good to go for a while.

The tires are always necessary for making sure that you have an easy time driving around in a solid car. It is the reason you would want to get the right tires with the best tire tread depth. The best tire tread depth is what will give you the confidence and comfort for using the tires. You do not want to end up with one that will always be getting a flat because the treads are worn out. Always make sure that you understand the minimum tread depth for a state or country. Stay within the minimum, as it is the one thing that will help with better driving capabilities of the car.

About The Author


I have a diploma in mechanics, and I am absolutely in love with the motor . I share my love of this genre through my blog and videos. I enjoy hearing from you, share your car problems, share ideas, and I will give you the best advises how to solve your car problem. You can find I Love Engineering across social media at: @bellailoveengi1. Shoot me an email at bella.iloveengi[email protected]

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