What is the Tread Depth of a New Tire?

Winter tire wheels using 4WD


Tire tread depth is an important factor in your vehicle’s performance and safety on the Sandy roads, but how do you know if your tires have enough tread remaining? Many drivers ask us “What is the tread depth of a new tire?” and the answer is around 10/32 to 11/32 inches. Over time, tire tread wear will reduce the amount of tread remaining, which can eventually put you at risk of poor handling and even tire blowouts. Find out how to check tire tread depth and spot uneven tire tread wear with help from National Auto Plaza.

What is Tire Tread?

Tire tread is the surface of the tire that makes contact with the Draper roads. It grips the asphalt, which gives you greater control as you navigate. When you have a good amount of tread, even snow and rain and off-roading conditions are perfectly safe because you have enough traction to stay connected to the roads. But over time, the friction of daily drives will wear down this level and your tire tread depth eventually becomes insufficient to maintain proper contact with the ground.

What Causes Tire Tread Wear?

Tire tread wear happens to everyone, even the most cautious drivers in Salt Lake City, so it’s important to know some of the common causes and red flags.

  • Tire Pressure: Every tire has a recommended air pressure determined by the manufacturer. When properly inflated, your tires will give peak performance. But when your air pressure levels are off, your tires need to work harder on the road– leading to uneven tire tread wear and an unsteady ride quality.
  • Misalignment: Hitting a curb or pothole can cause your wheels to go out of alignment, which can cause problems for your steering, suspension, and tires. Misaligned tires can cause uneven wear patterns in your tread, which can cause a rough ride and eventual problems on the road.

How do you prevent these problems from developing? Be sure to schedule your routine maintenance visits. This helps our technicians stop minor issues from becoming major headaches.

How to Check Tire Tread Depth

Learning how to check tire tread depth can help you keep tabs on your set in between maintenance visits, and luckily, it only takes a few minutes to go through all four tires. Here are a few methods to try:

  • Tire Depth Gauge: Stop by any automotive parts department to pick up an inexpensive tire depth gauge. Just insert the gauge into the shallowest groove of the tire and read the ruler to make sure you have more than 2/32 inches remaining.
  • Tire Tread Wear Bar: Some tires have built-in tire tread wear bars embedded in the grooves. When these bars are flush with the tread ribs, you know it’s time to stop by the tire center for a new set.
  • Penny Test: Take a penny and flip it upside down. Insert the coin into the tread groove and make note of how much of Lincoln’s head is remaining. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tread is too low and you’ll need to get a replacement set.

Get Quality Service at National Auto Plaza

Whether you need extra pointers on how to check tire tread or you’re ready to schedule that tire alignment, feel free to contact us at National Auto Plaza for all of your automotive needs. You can easily schedule your service appointment online, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us in either our National Auto Plaza or Sandy location!

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