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Tire Tread Depth Gauges

The best way to monitor tread wear is with a tread depth gauge.

The gauge can detect a wear pattern sooner than by just looking at the tread. Unusual wear patterns in the tire can be caused by incorrect air pressure, loose or worn steering parts, driving patterns, load conditions, etc. When a wear pattern is detected using the tread depth gauge, you can then search for the cause before excessive tread wear occurs or the tire is ruined.

For small, normal tires with less than 1" tread, use a tread depth gauge, which reads in 32nds of an inch. To use this gauge, follow the four steps below.

Tread Depth Gauge

Step-by-step Instructions
Step 1

1. Push the plunger all the way down.

Step 2

2. Place the probe into the tire groove and push down on the gauge.
NOTE: Do not probe on a raised surface or a tread wear indicator.

Step 3

3. Lift up by the base of the gauge to check the gauge reading.

Step 4

4. The higher the number the more tread depth on the tire. This gauge reads in 32nds and millimeters.

  • Check the tire in the center and outer grooves in four places in each groove equally spaced around the entire tire.

  • For high-speed highway tires, always check your state's vehicle code for minimum allowable usable tread for highway use.

Additional Resources:

Lawn, Garden and Utility Cart Tire Tread Guide