How to Check Tire Tread Depth

close up of tire tread


The tires on your car are in constant contact with the road, which is why it is so important that you ensure they are always in good condition. Scheduled maintenance such as tire rotation service will help your tires last longer, but regularly checking tire tread depth also alerts you to potential problems before they compromise your safety on the Branford roads. Learn how to check tire tread depth this guide from the experts in the Westbrook Honda Service Center.

Why is Checking Tire Tread Depth So Important?

Bald or balding tires increase the likelihood of a flat tire or blowout. In addition, tire tread depth can affect your stopping distance, which is particularly dangerous in wet or snowy road conditions. Regularly inspecting your tires and checking tread depth ensures that you enjoy maximum traction and safety on Branford-area roads. With tires that are in good condition and properly inflated, you will also enjoy more fuel-efficient performance on both city streets and the highway.

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

New tires typically come with a tread depth of 10/32” to 11/32”. If they wear down to 2/32” or less of tread depth, they should be replaced as soon as possible. Off-roading tires, winter tires, and some truck and SUV tires have deeper treads, so you should consult your owner’s manual for information regarding tread depth for your specific tires. If you have any questions or concerns about the tires on your Honda, schedule an appointment at the Westbrook Honda Service Center near New London. Our experienced technicians can inspect your tires for you and install new ones if needed.

The Penny Test

How do you check your tire tread depth? Most new 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 2/32” or less tread remaining.

While you can purchase a tire tread depth gauge at local Middletown-area auto part shops and hardware stores throughout the Middletown area, there’s a quick and easy way to check tread depth by using a penny.

  1. Insert a penny into a tire tread groove, with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you.
  2. Is Lincoln’s head covered by the tread? If so, you have enough tread depth remaining.
  3. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, then your tire treads are 2/32” deep or less, and it’s time to get a new tire.

You should check the tread depth on all four tires and in different locations on each tire to ensure they are wearing evenly. Uneven wear indicates that you should schedule a tire rotation or wheel alignment.

Get Expert Tire Care at Westbrook Honda

Now that you know how to check tire tread depth, the service team at Westbrook Honda is standing by to help with any other tire care or maintenance issues your vehicle may have. If your Honda is in need of a tire rotation or wheel alignment or due for its next oil change or brake replacement, make sure to check out our current service specials and coupons to save on your next Honda maintenance service. Please feel free to contact our Service Center if you have any questions. If you’d like to learn more service tips, check out our guide to coolant.

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