Ask the Experts – How Do I Check My Tire Tread Depth?

This is a question we get asked frequently in the auto business and we thought that due to the rainy conditions we have been presented with, now would be a great time to review how to check the depth of your tire tread. Keeping the tread above 3mm or 3/32nds is key for safe driving, especially with all the the rain on the road. Insufficient tread depth can lead to less grip on the pavement which, when raining, can lead to hydroplaning and loss of traction.

There are 3 easy ways to check your tire tread depth:

Option 1 – Use a tire tread depth gauge. You can pick one up from Auto Zone or Advanced Auto Parts for under $5. When checking your tire tread depth with this gauge all you need to do is press it down into the lowest part of your tire tread (see image below). As you press down the depth readings will pop up from the center of the gauge. You can then see what depth your tires tread are currently at and determine if they need to be replaced.

Option 2 – Use a Penny! Yep, you read that right. One of the oldest tricks in the book is to use a penny to check you tire tread depth. All you need to do is take the penny with Lincoln’s face and place it upside down in the lowest part of you tire tread, so that Lincoln’s head is in the valley and upside down. If the tread goes above Lincoln’s forehead, your tires are good to go, but if it only reaches his hair, then its time for new tires!

Option 3 – Bring your car in and one of our friendly service advisors will check your tread depth, free of charge! We want to make sure all of our customers are safe on the road here at Skyline Automotive. Contact us today if you have any questions! 703.845.8477