Did You Know – Most state laws require tires to have a tread depth of at least 2/32″ to remain in service? And in snowy and slushy conditions, 4/32 of an inch of tread or more is necessary for good traction.
When tire tread, or traction, gets worn down the water, snow, and other slippery substances have nowhere to go except directly under your tires which decreases your vehicle’s traction. If your tires are nearly bald, traction will basically be gone. Decreased traction will negatively affect your control over the car, making the vehicle unsafe for you and those in your car. Tread depth will determine whether or not you require new tires. You can easily tell if your tires’ tread is too worn by using a penny or a quarter.
The Penny Test..
Just take a penny and, with Lincoln’s head upside down, put it between the tread blocks of the tire. If you are not able to see the top of Lincoln’s head then you still have more than 2/32 of an inch of tread remaining. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to look for new tires because the tread is worn down to or beyond 2/32 of an inch.
The Quarter Test..
Some auto experts believe using a quarter is better than a penny to test tire depth. To do the test put a quarter between the tread blocks of the tire, just like with the penny, with Washington’s head down. If you can’t see the top of Washington’s head, you have 4/32 of an inch of tread or more.