Tire Car and Tire Maintenance

Tire Tips & Maintenance

How To Check Your Tire Tread Depth

The first and easiest way to check tire tread depth is to look for the tread wear indicator bar. It's a small rubber bar at the bottom of the tire tread grooves. When the tread wear bar becomes flush with the top of the tread, it's time to replace the tires.

To choose new tires, please refer to Giga's Tire Buying Guide for articles on our best sellers and customer favorites.

Check Tire Tread Depth With a Penny

Insert a penny, with Lincoln's head facing down, into the tire tread groove. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, your tire needs to be replaced.

How to Measure Tire Tread Depth?

Use a tread depth gauge to measure tire tread depth - this tool is more precise. To use a tire gauge, place the end of the probe into a tread groove, pressing down on the base of the gauge until it is seated flat against the tread block. The probe in the barrel of the gauge will indicate the tread depth reading.  If the reading shows less than 3 or 4/32nds of an inch, it is time to replace the tires for maximum safety.

Why Checking Tread Wear is Important?

Worn tires affect the control and handling of your car and your safety. As well, if your tires are worn or bald, they are more susceptible to puncture and damage resulting in a flat. You could also get ticketed during a routine traffic stop.

It just takes a minute to see if your tires are ready to be replaced using the penny test or to check with a tread depth gauge. It will give you peace of mind that are your tires are still in good condition.

Troubleshooting Tire Tread Wear

The tread depth on a new tire various on the brand and style of tire. Light truck tires have deeper tread than car tires when new. As a rule of thumb, tires should be replaced if your tread depth is less than 2/32 inch, but this is not always the case. Here are some troubleshooting tips to determine if you should replace your tires.

What Is the Best Tire Tread Depth?

Most passenger car tires have a tread depth of around 10/ 32nds of an inch when new. All-terrain or mud tires have a deeper tread. When you drive on tires, the tread gradually wears down.  When there is 2/32nds of an inch left, the tires are legally worn out, or bald.

What Your Tire Tread Depth Should Be

If your tread depth is less than 2/32 inches it's time to replace your tires - Tires are legally worn out and need to be replaced when they reach 2/32nd of remaining tread depth.

If approaching winter and always driving on wet roads, some people replace their tires when they reach 3/32nds or even earlier. Since water can't be compressed, you need enough tread depth to allow the water to escape through the tire's grooves. The deeper the tread, the more space for the water to evacuate from under the tire.

What 8 32 means for tires

Tires are legally worn out when they reach 2/32nds of remaining tread depth. Since a typical car tire starts life with around 10/32nds of original tread depth, that means there is 8/32nds of useable tread depth.

How Long Does the Average Tire Last?

A tire's tread will last three to four years if you drive a typical number of miles (somewhere around 12,000-15,000 miles/year). The more expensive tires come with tire Manufacturer's mileage warranties. These will give you a give idea of how long the tires will last if you maintain the tires and your vehicle is in good working order.

Help Finding the Right Tires

If you need help finding your tire size, the best tire for your driving conditions, or the best price tire, give Giga-tires customer service a call toll-free at 1 833 885-8575.

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