As the only vehicle component that touches the road, tires are especially important to maintain. Aside from pressure, you should also pay attention to tire tread wear. Checking tire tread every month or so can prevent dangerous blowouts and ensure that you always have control on the road.
According to Goodyear, tire tread can be measured in several ways. Here’s how to determine how bad the wear is on your tires:
- 4/32” or more – Good
- 3/32” – Replace Soon
- 2/32” – Replace Tires ASAP
A mere fraction of an inch can make a serious difference when it comes to control and braking. Plus, the more worn your tires are, the more likely they are to blowout.
The most popular method for measuring tread depth requires a simple penny. Flip it upside down, and place it in the middle of the tire tread. If you see above Abe Lincoln’s head, then it’s probably time for new tires.
You can also look for the treadwear indicator, which is a bar molded into your tires. Bars are located at the bottom of the tread grooves. If they are even with the adjacent ribs, then you need to get new tires.
Finally, you can get a tread depth indicator from the local auto parts store for the most accuracy. Simply check to make sure there is more than 2/32” of tread left.
You should also check for uneven wear patterns and bald spots, as well as bulges and cracking. These can be signs that tires are failing. It’s important to rotate tires whenever you get an oil change as well, because this will distribute wear on all four tires and increase their lifespan.