A recent study that was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 50 percent of all vehicles that were checked had tires that were at least halfway worn. Another 10 percent were driving on the roadways with at least one bald tire. This is extremely dangerous, as tires that are worn cannot adequately grip the road and lead to tragic accidents. 

Tires are measured in 1/32 of an inch increments. When they are new, the grooves in the tread have a depth of 10/32nds of an inch. A tire is considered bald, or no longer usable, when the depth shrinks to 2/32nds of an inch. At this point, tires will not measure up to state safety standards. 

In locations with an abundance of precipitation, such as Oneida, Liverpool and Syracuse, New York, you should consider replacing your tires before the tread reaches a 4/32 depth measurement. Of course, it is very difficult to accurately judge this number with an untrained eye. At Bill Rapp Subaru, we want you to be safe on the roads. Below, we explain how to measure tire tread.

The Penny Test 

Do you have a spare change collection in your center console? This is the perfect chance to use at least one of those coins. You can check the depth of your tire tread by using a penny. Dig one out and find a groove that looks shallow. Though tires that have been properly maintained should wear evenly, it is common for wear to be uneven. Turn Lincoln upside down and put the penny in the groove. How much of Honest Abe's head can you see? If you can see it all, your tire tread is below 2/32s of an inch and it is time to invest in a new set. 

The Quarter Test 

If you do not have a penny, grab a quarter. Some drivers prefer the quarter test over the penny test. Simply put your penny in the groove, again with the head down and facing you. If your tread touches George Washington, you can use your tires a bit longer. 

Tread Wear Indicator Bar 

Are you a driver that does not keep any change in their vehicle? Not to worry-tires are made with tiny tread wear indicator bars spaces throughout the tread on the tires. Look closely and you will see them. These bars are located in the grooves between the tread rises. Once you have found a few, run your finger over them. If your tread has worn even with the indicator bars, you need to replace your tires. 

Buying a new set of tires will keep you from having to repair a damaged vehicle, replace your car or worse-risk compromising your safety. Subaru has a long history of exceeding safety standards. If you are a driver in the areas of Oneida, Liverpool or Syracuse and you would like more information on Subarus or how to measure tire tread, stop by Bill Rapp Subaru or contact us online today.

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Bill Rapp Subaru

3446 Burnet Ave
Directions Syracuse, NY 13206

  • Call or Text Sales: (315) 362-2937
  • Service: (315) 362-2966
  • Parts: (315) 437-2501


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