How to Check Tire Tread Wear the Right Way

March 22nd, 2016

You should check your tire tread at least once a month for safe driving. This seems like a fairly straightforward process: just examine the tread wear bars. If the bars indicate that the treads are worn, then it’s time for a tire replacement. It’s as simple as that, right? Well, not exactly so. There is a much more efficient way of checking the tires for tread wear.

Forget About the Tread Wear Bars

The problem with tire wear bars is that they present themselves at a depth of 2/32. This is fine for dryer climates like Phoenix or Las Vegas. Seattle, though, has a wetter climate. This means wetter roads, which can become a major safety hazard if the tires are worn and lack the treads needed to channel the water away from the tire surface.

The Better Way to Test Tread Wear

Some people might be familiar with the penny test. Insert a penny upside down into the tread’s groove. If the top part of Abe’s head is showing, then there isn’t enough tread, and the tires need to be replaced. However, like the tire wear bars, the penny test only measures tread wear at a depth of 2/32. Most auto repair services recommend a depth of 4/32. To test tires for this depth, employ the quarter test instead. It’s done the same way as the penny test; if the top part of Washington’s head is showing, then the tread is worn and should be replaced.

Don’t Neglect Tire Inspections

Fall is in full swing, which means you can expect more rain in the coming months. This makes tire maintenance even more important; you don’t want to be driving with worn treads when the road is slippery. Check your tires for worn treads or have Ace Auto Repair inspect it for you; we provide special offers for this and other auto services in Greater Seattle.

  Posted in: Company News, Auto Repair 101