checking tire tread depth with a penny close-up graphic

Tire Tread Depth

With this easy test, a penny can buy you peace of mind when it comes to your tires and safety.

Place a penny head first into several tread grooves across the tire. If you always see the top of Lincoln’s head, your treads are shallow and worn. If this is the case, your tires need to be replaced.

If part of Lincoln’s head is always covered by the tread, you have more than 2/32 of an inch of tread depth remaining. This means you probably don’t need new tires.

Firestone tire graphic showing where to check tire tread depth

Why Worry About Tread Wear?

The most important reason to worry about tread wear is safety.

When your tire treads are worn, your car may respond poorly in adverse weather conditions like rain and snow. With good treads, your car will grip the road better. Also, having insufficient tread is considered illegal in many states. And finally, worn treads can make other parts of your car wear prematurely.

Potential Problem Areas:

  1. Excessive wear in center tread indicates over inflation of the tire.
  2. Excessive wear on shoulders may signal problems such as under inflation of the tire.
  3. Uneven tread wear indicates poor wheel alignment.
  4. Excessive wear on one side of the tire signals incorrect camber angle.
  5. If the treads on the outer section become knobby, it may signal problems with the toe-in value.
Firestone Complete Auto Care store

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I need new tires

When it’s time to change your tires, your Firestone Complete Auto Care dealer wants to make purchasing a new set as simple as possible. We have the best selection of quality tires to fit your vehicle, your budget and your driving style. From economy to ultra high performance tires - in the size you need from brands you trust, including our well-known Bridgestone and Firestone brands - you can find what you need right here.

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