18 Dec Preventing Tire Blowouts: How to Check Your Tire’s Tread (Part 1)
Checking the tread on your tires – especially before the winter season or a long drive – is just as important as checking your tires’ air pressure. This is because both the tread and air pressure are crucial to preventing tire blowouts and other forms of tire failure that could result in serious car accidents. While checking tires’ air pressure can be done by using a pressure gauge and following the guidelines set forth in the vehicle’s owner’s manual, knowing what to do to check the tread on tires may not be as straightforward for many drivers.
The following are some easy tests that drivers can use to check their tires’ tread and ensure that they are not driving on bald tires:
The Penny Test for Checking If Tires Have At Least 2/23” of Tread
Most states require that drivers have at least 2/32” of tread on their tires for safety purposes. This is because, when there is less tread than 2/32”, cars are more likely to hydroplane on wet roads. Additionally, insufficient tread on tires (i.e., bald tires) can increase the chances that tires will blowout if drivers happened to drive over potholes, debris or other objects in the road. To check if tires have at least 2/32”, use the penny test:
- Hold a penny with the top of Lincoln’s head facing downwards.
- Place the penny in the grooves of the tread.
- Look at the front of the penny – if the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, then there is at least 2/32” of tread on the tires.
For additional helpful tips on how to quickly and easily check tire tread, be sure to read the forthcoming Part 2 of this blog.
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