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16151 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos, CA, 95032

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Dealership Info

Phone Numbers:Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sat - SunClosed
Sales Hours:
  • Mon - Sat9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sun10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Parts Hours:
  • Mon - Fri8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sat - SunClosed

How To Check Tire Tread Depth with the Penny Test

Penny Tire Test

Are you under the impression that you have to replace your tires? Maybe you can’t remember when your last tire rotation took place, and you’re trying to find out if you need to schedule service. Either way, knowing how to check tire tread depth at home can make your job a whole lot easier!

What is the Recommended Tire Tread Depth?

It’s time to replace your tires if the tread depth falls below 2/32 of an inch. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, drivers are at a much greater risk for a blowout or a flat if they continue to use their tires after passing this limit point. Most tires come with a starting tread depth of 10/32 or 11/32 of an inch. However, off-roading tires or winter tires may not follow the same guidelines. It’s not a bad idea to take note of your starting depth whenever you pick up a new set. While you’re at it, find out how to make your tires last longer.

How Do I Check Tire Tread Depth with a Penny?

As soon as drivers near San Jose and Santa Clara realize how important their tires are to safe driving, they come to us with one question on their mind. So, if you’re also wondering, “How do I check tire tread depth at home?” just check out the steps below:

  1. No ruler? No problem. Just take any standard-issue penny and insert it into the tire groove, with Lincoln’s head facing down and out.
  2. When your tires are new, you shouldn’t see any part of Lincoln’s head. When your tires need to be replaced, you’ll see his entire face.
  3. Make sure to check each tire on your vehicle and check each tire at multiple locations. Unless you’ve been very good about tire rotation, your tires will wear unevenly.

Other Ways to Check On Your Tires

Your tread depth isn’t the only thing that you should be worried about when you get down to check on your tires. Here’s what else you should look for:

  • Check your tire pressure and make note of any sudden changes
  • Check for visible tire damage, including cracks or bubbling in the side wall
  • If you notice tire rot or tire disintegration, it may be time to trade up
  • If you notice dramatic differences in wear, your wheels may be misaligned

Need an expert to check on your tires? Schedule service in Los Gatos today. Ready to tackle another DIY car care task? Find out how to check your oil level at home.

For All Your Tire Needs, Start Here

Whether you’re in need of a new tire depth gauge or you’re ready for a brand new set of tires, the Los Gatos Acura tire center has you covered. Just make sure to check out our parts specials before you drive in from Santa Cruz or Monterey.

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    16151 Los Gatos Blvd • Los Gatos, CA 95032

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    Los Gatos Acura 37.2347855, -121.9645502.