Your tires play a vital role in ensuring a safe and smooth ride, and regularly checking their tread is a fundamental part of responsible car ownership. In this post, we’ll explore the importance of tire tread, how to check it, and the telltale signs that it might be time for new tires.


The Importance of Tire Tread:

Tire tread might seem like a simple feature, but it plays a critical role in the overall safety and performance of your vehicle. The tread on your tires is responsible for maintaining traction on various road surfaces, including wet and slippery conditions. Without proper tread, your car is at an increased risk of skidding, hydroplaning, and losing control – scenarios that can lead to accidents and injuries.


Tire tread also affects your vehicle’s braking capabilities. Adequate tread depth allows your tires to grip the road, providing better stopping power. In contrast, worn-out tread can significantly increase stopping distances, putting you and your passengers in potential danger.


How to Check Tire Tread:

Now that we understand the importance of tire tread, let’s discuss how you can easily check it at home. You don’t need any specialized tools – just a few minutes of your time and a penny.


The Penny Test:

Grab a penny and insert it into the tread of your tire with Lincoln’s head facing downward.

If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tread is too shallow, and it’s time for new tires.

If part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, your tires are still in good shape.

Tread Wear Indicators:

Most tires come equipped with tread wear indicators – small, raised bars located at the bottom of the tread grooves.

As the tire wears, these indicators become more visible.

If you notice the tread wearing down to the level of these bars, it’s a clear sign that your tires need replacement.

Signs it’s Time for New Tires:

While regular checks are essential, there are specific signs that indicate your tires are overdue for replacement:

Low Tread Depth:

As mentioned earlier, if the tread depth is consistently below 2/32 of an inch, it’s time for new tires.

Bald Spots or Uneven Wear:

If you notice bald spots or uneven wear on your tires, it could signal alignment or suspension problems, and new tires may be necessary.

Cracks and Bulges:

Visible cracks or bulges on the tire’s sidewall can compromise its structural integrity, making replacement imperative.


Even if the tread appears sufficient, tires deteriorate over time due to factors like exposure to sunlight, temperature changes, and environmental conditions. If your tires are over six years old, consider replacement, regardless of tread depth.


At Matt’s Automotive Service Center, we understand the importance of tire maintenance in ensuring your safety on the road. Regularly checking your tire tread and recognizing the signs that it’s time for new tires is a proactive approach to vehicle care. Don’t compromise on safety – schedule a tire inspection with our experts today, and let us keep you rolling smoothly on the journey ahead. Remember, when it comes to tires, it’s always better to tread carefully!