Seeing the tread worn off your tire tells you it’s time for an immediate tire change, but you don’t want to wait that long. Bald tires are a hazard to you and others on the roadway and can cause an accident. Instead, keep an eye on your tire tread depth by looking at it every couple of thousand miles. How often you drive will have a huge bearing on how frequently you will need new tires. Here are a few ways to check your tire tread:
- Visual inspection. Walk around your car and take a look at all four tires. Begin with the tread, ensuring that none of it is worn flat. You may need a tire change if you see uneven wear or treadwear indicators.
- Use a penny. A popular method of checking tire wear is using a penny. Place the penny in the tire tread with Lincoln’s head facing down. If his head disappears, you are good to go. However, if you still see our 16th President’s face, it is time for new tires.
According to official U.S. safety standards, a tire’s tread should measure 2/32” deep. If your tires are anywhere below that, it’s time for a tire change. For optimal safety, all four tires should be replaced at once. Tire consistency helps your car drive and handle road conditions, giving you better control at the wheel. In addition, old tires should be replaced with tires that fall into the same load capacity, speed rating, size, and category, especially if you choose a different brand.