What is Tire Tread?

The tread of a tire is the patterns in the rubber around the tire. A tire’s tread provides the gripping action and traction that prevent your vehicle from slipping, sliding and hydroplaning, especially when the road is wet or icy. When purchasing new tires, you should consider the type of tread to have. Special tread is designed for different weather and driving conditions. There are also tires designed specifically for fuel efficiency and delivering a quiet and smooth ride. At Levin Tire & Service Center, we will be happy to help you choose the right tires for your specific vehicle, driving patterns and budget. You can also check out our Tire Buying Guide for great tips on buying new tires.

Checking Tire Tread

Tread is worn down over time, causing tires to slowly lose traction ability. In general, tires should be replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch. Tires have tread wear indicators that let you know when they should be replaced. These indicators are raised sections spaced intermittently in the bottom of the tread grooves. When they appear "even" with the outside of the tread, it’s time to replace your tires.

The diagram below gives you an idea of what to look for when inspecting your tire tread. (Be sure to check the pressure and condition of ALL of your tires each month.)

Tire Tread Condition

An easy way to check your tread depth is by conducting the penny test (below). Place a penny in the tread of your tires. Lincoln's head should be upside down and facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, you’re ready for new tires.

You should also check your tire tread for uneven wear. Tires that are overinflated will wear faster in the center. Underinflated tires will wear faster around the edge of the tread. Keeping your tires properly inflated and rotating them at least twice a year will greatly increase their longevity. It will also improve your handling and gas mileage. Visit a Levin Tire & Service Center today and we will be happy to rotate your tires and provide a free tire inspection.

Tire Penny Test