How to Check Tire Tread Depth

Checking tire tread with a penny
Is it time to have your tires replaced? If you need to learn how to check tire tread depth, the team at Hyundai of Asheville is here to help! Checking your tire tread depth is easy, and you can check it with a professional tire tread tool or a simple U.S. penny. Learn how to check your tire tread depth below, then browse our other DIY car care tips like what your Hyundai tire pressure should be.

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

New Hyundai tires have a tire tread depth of about 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch (about a third of an inch). Winter and tires that are designed for off-roading, along with some tires designed for trucks and SUVs may have deeper grooves.

When your tire tread wears down to 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to have your tires replaced at a Asheville service center. Having proper tire tread depth is essential to your safety while driving in Weaverville, and proper tire care will help lengthen the lifetime of your tires.

The Penny Test

The most accurate way to check your tire tread depth is with a ruler or a tire tread tool, but you can also use a penny if you don’t have another option. The design of the U.S. penny makes it the perfect household item to measure your tire tread wear. Follow the steps below to see how to check your tire tread depth with a penny:

  1. Take a penny and insert it into your tire tread groove with Lincoln’s head facing down.
  2. Check and see if Lincoln’s head is visible between the tire grooves.
  3. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, this means your tire treads are at 2/32 inches or less and it’s time to have them replaced. If Lincoln’s head is partially or fully covered, then your treads are okay.
  4. Use the penny method on each of your tires and in different spots to make sure your tire tread is worn evenly.

How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear Using Other Methods?

If you don’t have a penny on hand, there are other methods you can use to check your tire tread wear. Aside from a ruler, there are two other ways to check your tire tread depth: a tire depth gauge or tread wear bars. Read more about these methods below:

  • Tread Depth Gauge: You can purchase a tire depth gauge at most Hendersonville auto stores or online. Once you have a tire depth gauge, all you need to do is insert the probe into the groove, then press the top bar of the gauge flat against the tire to see the tread wear measurement.
  • Tread Wear Bars: Many tires on newer sedans, SUVs, and trucks come with tread wear indicator bars built into them. You’ll find the tread wear bars at the bottom of the grooves throughout the tire. If the bars are even with the grooves that are around them, then your tires are at 2/32 of an inch. You can see if your tires have tread-wear bars by checking with your local Black Mountain service center or in your owner’s manual.

Maintain Your Vehicle at Hyundai of Asheville

Whether it’s time to have your tires replaced, balanced, or rotated, you can get the tires and services you need at Hyundai of Asheville! Schedule an appointment online today to have your tires inspected, then browse our service specials for savings on your visit. Come by today. We look forward to helping you keep your Hyundai running for mile after mile!

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