The Penny Method
One of the easiest ways to check your tire tread depth on your own is with the penny method. All you’ll need for it is a penny!
You’ll want to place the penny with Lincoln’s head facing downward between the rib of the tire treads—these are the sections that span the entire circumference of your tires rather than the smaller parts that branch off.
Once it’s in place, you’ll want to look and see how much of Lincoln’s image is covered. If any part of Lincoln’s head is covered, your tires are still good to hit the road. Though, if his head is completely uncovered, you’ll want to get your tires changed as soon as possible.
Doing this will tell you whether your tire is under 2/32-inches deep. That’s the threshold at which point your tires won’t be able to gain the right levels of traction anymore.
Why Is Tread Depth Important?
While it’s common to hear vehicle owners talk about the importance of tire tread depth, you might wondering why it matters. Overall, the treads are what help the vehicle gain traction while driving. This will be most important when braking, whether you’re coming up on a red light or need to take quick action in an emergency situation.
The longer you drive, the more those treads will get worn down, meaning braking might start to take longer. So, when you keep a close eye on the tire tread depth, you’ll ensure you’re always equipped to handle emergency maneuvers.
How to Make Your Tires Last
To make your tires last as long as possible, there are a few maintenance items you can have done regularly. Getting your tires rotated and having your alignment adjusted often will go a long way in terms of prolonging your tire’s lifespan.
When you get your tires rotated, the technicians will switch the tires positions across the vehicle, so that they all receive an equal amount of wear.
Alignments make sure that all four tires are making proper contact with the road. If they are out of alignment, you could experience tire cupping, which is when there are patches of wear on tires. This will lead to an uneven driving experience and difficulty slowing down.