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How To Measure Tire Tread Depth

tire tread depth
Check your tire tread depth once every couple of months to make sure you replace your tires before you lose traction, and to catch any problems that might cause your tires to wear unevenly or prematurely.

A few fractions of an inch in the depth of your tire tread can make a huge difference. It can be the difference between hydroplaning on a wet road and making your way safely through the rain. Not only will worn out tread make your vehicle less safe, it will also keep it from handling as well as it should. Especially if you have an off-road vehicle or a sports car, this can suck the fun out of your drive. To make sure you replace your tires before low tread depth becomes a problem, you’ll want to measure your tire tread depth every couple of months. By following this tire tread measuring guide, you’ll also be able to catch problems that cause uneven tread wear before they get too severe. The only tool you’ll need is a tire tread depth gauge.

How to Check Your Tire Tread Depth with A Tire Tread Depth Gauge

1. Push the blade of the tire tread depth gauge all the way out.

2. Gently poke the blade into one of the main grooves on the tire and bring the feet of the gauge down to rest on the higher tread blocks on either side of the groove. 

3. Hold the gauge in place while you turn the top stick around until you find the measurement that lines up even with the top of the metal body of the gauge. This will be the depth of your tire’s tread at that spot in 1/32nds of an inch.

4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 in multiple spots across the tread face. Start at the outside edge and work your way across to the inside edge. Write down each measurement. NOTE: If these measurements differ by more than 1/32″ from one edge to the other, have your tires inspected, wheels aligned, and your front end parts checked. You may have a worn part or misalignment issue that’s causing your tires to wear unevenly.

5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 on all four tires. Each tire will wear at a different rate, which is why it’s important to have your tires rotated regularly.

Blain’s Farm & Fleet offers full tire service and inspections to make sure your tires always keep you on the road to your next adventure.

For more information on tire maintenance, including how to maintain proper air pressure, check out our blog.

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