How to Check Tire Tread Depth

close up of tire tread


After driving through Quincy for an extended period of time, your tires will eventually become worn down and will need to be replaced. One way you can visibly tell that your tires are getting closer to needing replacement is by checking tire tread depth. Learn how to check tire tread depth with the service center at Shottenkirk Chevrolet, and visit us for all of your tire replacement needs. When it comes to regular car maintenance, we’re a go-to for tire service, repair, and much more.

What Is Tread Depth?

When we talk about checking tire tread depth, we’re talking about the vertical measurement between the actual outside rubber of the tire and the depth of the grooves within the tire. Over time, driving on the Hannibal roads will wear down the rubber on your tires, causing the amount of tread depth to decrease. So, the closer the top of the rubber is to the bottom of the groove, the closer your tire is to needing to be replaced. Most tires on new vehicles have a depth of 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch, and you’ll want to have your tires replaced when it reaches about 2/32 of an inch.

How Often to Check Tire Tread Depth

Before we go over how to check tire tread depth, let’s talk about how often you should check your tires’ tread depth. It’s recommended that you should check your tire tread depth at least once a month in order to stay on top of your tires’ conditions. As mentioned above, once your tires reach about 2/32 of an inch, then you’ll want to schedule a visit to our service center and have them replaced.

Checking Tread Depth Using a Penny

It’s recommended that you use a ruler first, but if you can’t find one, then you can check tire tread depth using a penny. Here’s how to check tread depth using a penny:

  1. Put the penny into the tire with Licnoln’s head pointing down into the groove of the tire.
  2. See if Lincoln’s head is covered between the tire grooves.
  3. If you can see Lincoln’s whole head, then your tire tread is at 2/32 of an inch and will need to be replaced.
  4. Repeat this process for all of your tires on their inner and outer ridges to check their tread depths.

Why Check Tire Tread Depth?

Checking tire tread depth allows you to know if your tires need to be replaced and if it’s safe to drive on the Keokuk roads. Here are some of the risks of not checking tread depth regularly:

  • Less air pressure, which affects steering, braking, and fuel economy
  • More likely to blow out on the roads
  • Less traction control

Now that you know how to check tire tread depth and why it’s important, you can take the necessary steps when your tires need to be replaced. Visit our service center in Quincy for quick and efficient service, and save on every visit with our service specials.

Service Your Tires at Shottenkirk Chevrolet

Contact us to get new tires or have your current ones checked, so you can get back on the road in no time.

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