How to Check Tire Wear

Technician examining a car's tire tread wear

When it comes to checking tire tread depth, the process is quick and easy. We’ve outlined everything you need to know about how to check tire tread at home in Santa Ana, and why it’s important.


How to check tire wear

Why should I check my tire tread wear?

There are plenty of great reasons to check your tire tread wear. While it’s not something you think about on a daily basis, it’s important to keep an eye on your tire tread depth, because it can provide important information about potential vehicle damage or issues that you want to address before they become more serious.

When inspecting tire treads, the goal is to check for grooves and cracks within the tire. Although there are some special tools you can use to measure your tire tread more easily, all you really need is a one-inch tape measure or U.S. penny coin.

A grooved or cracked tire can be unsafe, leading to vibration while driving. Grooves or cracks allow the tire to flex, which means tread rubber is breaking down. With less tread on the tires, you get less traction on wet roadways, during periods of snowfall, and in poor weather conditions in general. It’s important that your tires are in good shape for safe driving.

It’s important to continuously check your tire tread wear and depth, especially with all-wheel drive. These Volkswagen vehicles come with 4MOTION® AWD:

  • Volkswagen Arteon
  • Volkswagen Atlas
  • Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
  • Volkswagen Golf R
  • Volkswagen Tiguan

How do I check my tire tread depth?

You can check your tire tread in three easy steps. If you don’t have time to visit our Volkswagen parts department and pick up a tread depth gauge, try the penny test. A penny can tell you a lot about your tires. As an inexpensive test, the penny test is widely used to determine if it’s time for new tires or if your tread depth is dangerously low. Here’s what you do to check your tire tread:

  1. Grab a U.S. penny
  2. Insert it into the tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head facing down
  3. If you can see all of Lincoln’s face on the penny, your tires are below 2/32 of an inch. This means it’s time to replace your tires to help maintain control on wet roads.

What is the recommended tire tread depth?

Tread depth is an important concern in tire care. If you’ve just purchased a new vehicle, a sidewall-mount spare tire, or new tires for your existing vehicle, the next step in proper tire maintenance is to check tread depth. 

Don’t risk your safety with tires whose treads are below safe thresholds. Volkswagen South Coast’s automotive experts recommend replacing your tires when their tread depth drops to 2/32 of an inch. Rotating your tires every 6,000 to 7,000 miles ensures maximum alignment and even wear across all four tires. Doing each will also ensure that your vehicle’s tires can grip the road properly.


Schedule Volkswagen Service Appointments in Santa Ana, CA

Traction is important whether you’re on the driveway or on the freeway! When it comes to tires, tread is one of the first things that people focus on. To check your tread levels, you’ll want to do more than just eyeball it. It can be difficult to see proper tire wear because tires constantly move and pad underneath.

By checking in more than one place and in contrasting conditions, our Volkswagen service center experts can identify uneven wear and if there are any cracks in tires. Doing so also helps us decide whether you need a tire rotation or alignment. Check out our current VW service specials and get your tires checked out by scheduling your Volkswagen service appointment in Santa Ana, CA today!


Schedule a VW Appointment


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