How to Check Tire Age through Tread Block

There have always been varied opinions about when you should change your car tires. Some manufacturers will recommend the time period as minimum 6 years to maximum 10 years. When it’s that old, it is certainly time to change, irrespective of whether it is a manual drive or an automatic. But, time is not the only measure to check tire age. Yes, more than 6 years old tires must be changed, but your car tires’ tread block is actually the real factor. It will tell you if it’s already time to change the tire. So, consider the age of your car tire in treads, not in years.

The Truth about Car Tires

A worn out tire can be equally risky as a 10 year old tire is. Though, the fact is that you should change tires older than 6 years whether or not you’ve used them. The real check of the tires which you have been using is through the tread depth. You should do it especially when you’re buying old cars.

If the treads of your tire are shallow beyond a certain measure, it can actually escalate the risk of crash. In fact, studies have suggested that vehicles running on shallow treads become thrice as vulnerable to pre-crash tire troubles and deep tread tires.

Check tire age with tire tread
You can check the right time to replace your car tire through tire tread. (photo source: Kia of Irvine)


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Here is how you check tire age with treads:

2/32” is the minimum tread depth that you can consider safe for the road. However, to be on the safer side, consider replacing the tire when it still measures 4/32” mark. It becomes even more important if you drive in rain or snow.

Experts recommend that you replace it when 2/32 of an inch of the tread is still remaining. However, instead of measuring it with a scale, you can use a cool hack for your car. All you need is some spare change. Simply take a penny and insert it in the grooves of the tire with Lincoln’s head towards the grooves. If the top of the head is covered, you are on or above the 2/32” mark. In the other case, when the full head shows, you’ve got to change the tire because you are certainly below the 2/32”.

Mind you, 2/32” is the bare minimum, so it does not mean it offers the best tire safety.

Change at 4/32” for Better Safety

The extra tread is bound to give you better safety. 2/32” is not the ideal. This depth is not enough for offering the tire a solid grip on the road in rain, snow, and on high speed and tricky turns. In the penny test if the tread covers the top of Lincoln’s head, your tire is good to go. Always remember this one great tire maintenance tip, which will never fail you.

We do a lot to make our cars run perfectly. We follow car maintenance tips, ensure regular servicing, and keep making constant investments. Nevertheless, tires are one components of the car that matter more than we pay attention to. It is important to keep them in great condition and replace them on time. So, before you change your tire, or keep waiting to do it, or buy a used car, go on and check tire age by tread depth.