How to Check Your Tire Tread

Checking tire tread with a penny


The tires on your car, truck, or SUV are in constant contact with the road, so it is crucial for your safety that you make sure they are always in good condition. Checking tire tread depth is one of the 10 maintenance tasks that every driver should know how to do. So, you may be asking, “How do I check tire tread wear?’’ This guide from the certified technicians in the Capital GMC Buick Service Centre will teach you how to check tire tread depth so you can take to the Leduc roads with confidence.

What Is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

New tires start with a tread depth of 8 millimetres. If they wear down to a tread depth of 1.6 millimetres or less, you should replace them as soon as possible. Off-roading tires, winter tires, and some truck and SUV tires have deeper treads and may need to be checked and replaced more often. Driving around Leduc on bald or balding tires increases the chance that you’ll get a flat tire or blowout, which can be especially dangerous, especially if you are traveling at high speeds on the highway.

The Penny Test

How do you check your tire tread depth? Tire tread depth gauges are available at most auto parts stores in the Sherwood Park area, including at the Capital GMC Buick Parts Centre. If you don’t have a tire depth gauge handy, you can use a Canadian dime, since a penny is hard to find these days. Here’s how to check your tire tread depth with a dime:

  1. Insert the dime into the tire tread groove with the mast of the Bluenose upside down and facing you.
  2. If most of the mast is covered and no longer visible between the grooves, then the tires have plenty of tread depth left.
  3. If you can see the top of the mast, then your tire has only 1.6 millimetres or less of tread, and you should purchase a replacement.

Make sure to use this test on all four tires and in different locations on each tire to ensure that they are wearing evenly. If some tires are more worn than others and the tread depth isn’t too low, then you should have your tires rotated to even out the tread wear.

Many tires come with tread wear indicator bars that show when the tread has worn down. They are located at the bottom of the tread grooves in several locations on the tire. When the bars are flush with the tread, it means that there is 1.6 millimetres or less tread remaining.

Get Expert Tire Care at Capital GMC Buick

We hope that we have adequately answered the question, “How do I check tire tread wear?” If you need assistance or would like to have a professional inspect your tires, schedule an appointment with Capital GMC Buick. Need new tires? We offer tires at cost to help you get the best deal on tires in the Leduc area. Please feel free to contact our Service Centre if you have any questions, and check our online service tips page for advice on how to repair a car bumper and more!

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