How to Check Your Car’s Tire Tread

Originally posted by Cameron McKay – via

Your car’s tire tread is important—a proper tread improves your traction on the road and prevents you from skidding off the road whenever you go around a corner. Checking your tire tread is easy (the only tool you need is a toonie!).

How to Check Your Car’s Tire Tread: Step-by-Step

Put the outside edge of the toonie in your tire’s tread.

  • If the tread reaches the bear’s paws, your tires are probably pretty new.
  • If it reaches all the way across the silver, they’re about 50% worn.
  • If your tire tread reaches only about half-way into the letters, it’s time to shop for new tires.

Tip: If you’re looking for a more accurate measurement, you can buy a tread depth gauge at most auto parts store and gas stations. Did you know? AMA members save 10% on retail priced parts and accessories at NAPA auto parts.

How to Check Tire Tread Wear Indicators

Some tires feature built-in tread wear indicators along the tire grooves that mark the minimum acceptable tread depth. If these indicators are worn down then it’s probably time to replace your tires.