Testing Your Tire Tread at Home

How much tread you have on your tires can directly affect your vehicle’s controllability. Driving on tires with very little tread, or driving on bald tires, is not only dangerous but will make it nearly impossible for you to control your automobile on wet and icy roads. It’s easy to check your tires at home. It’s a good idea to inspect them monthly and look for things such as uneven tread wear, low tread depth, bubbling, and cracking. Scotty’s Automotive Service advises that the best way to stay safe on the road is to replace your tires when you need new ones. Here’s how to test your tire tread depth at home.

A General Reading

You can get a general idea of your tire tread depth with a penny or a quarter, but it’s important to understand that this test is not accurate. You won’t have an exact reading from President Lincoln or President Washington. Still, this test is effective in determining whether your tires are bald, so grab a shiny new penny or quarter and head out to your automobile.

Park your car, truck, or utility vehicle in the sunlight so you can read the penny or quarter easily. Make sure the parking brake is set and put bricks behind the wheels if you’re parked on an incline. Turn the head side of the penny or quarter toward you and insert it between your tire tread rows. If you can see all of the president’s head, you need new tires.

An Accurate Reading

Some people prefer an accurate reading. If you prefer to know exactly how much tire tread depth you have left, run to the local auto parts store and purchase a tread depth gauge. You can insert the gauge between the tire tread rows just as you would a penny or quarter and you will get an accurate reading in standard and metric measurements of how much tire tread depth you have left.

This gives you a better idea of how much longer you can expect life out of the tires on your car. If you measure the tread depth monthly, you’ll see on average how much depth the roads chew out of your tires. With these numbers, you can estimate when you’ll need new tires and save that money for future automotive service. Keep in mind that maintaining your tires extends their life.

We do everything here at Scotty’s Automotive Service, LLC, in Montague, NJ, and that includes rotating tires and balancing and aligning wheels. Give us a call today if you think you need new tires.


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