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How to check your tires for wear

Tires 101
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It is important to check your tires at least once a month to determine if they are safe or in need of service or replacement. If you think your vehicle may need new tires, the simple procedures below will help you decide.

A few basic tips

Worn-out tires are not only unsafe, but they may be against the law . In many areas, the minimum legal tire-tread depth is 2/32 of an inch . In wet driving conditions, tread depth of 4/32 of an inch or less means you are at high risk of losing traction on wet roads—by sliding or hydroplaning—and putting the safety of you, your passengers and other drivers at risk. Here are two easy  ways to check for worn tires:

1. The penny test
To test if the tread is worn out, place a penny into the most shallow tread groove with Lincoln's head down. If the top of his head remains visible, then the tire should be replaced.

2. Wear bars
Wear bars are narrow bands that appear in the grooves across the tread of the tire. When the wear bars are even with the tread depth, only 2/32 inch of tread remains. If the wear bars are visible, it may be time to replace the tire.

Deflating tires

If you find that your tire is deflating from a puncture, there is a chance it can be repaired. The chances for repair are highest when:

  • The damaged tire has not been driven on while flat.
  • The damage is on the tread part of the tire (the part that comes in contact with the road) and not the sidewall.
  • The puncture is less than 1/4 inch across.

If you have any questions about whether your tire can be repaired, stop by any Walmart Auto Care Center and have one of our tire technicians check to see if it can be repaired.

Shop our full selection of tires here: Walmart Tires


Important Wal-Mart Disclaimer: Proper service and repair procedures are vital to the safe, reliable operation of all motor vehicles as well as the personal safety of those performing the repairs and those riding in the motor vehicles. Standard safety procedures and precautions (including use of safety goggles and other safety equipment, proper tools and equipment) should be followed at all times to limit the possibility of personal injury or improper service which could damage the vehicle or compromise its safety. Personal injury could result from the failure to take adequate safety precautions when repairing or maintaining your vehicle. Although this material has been prepared with the intent to provide reliable information, no warranty or representation (express or implied), including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither is any liability assumed for loss or damage of any kind resulting from reliance on this material and Wal-Mart shall not be liable for any loss or damage of any kind resulting from reliance on this material. Users employ the information contained in this material at their own risk. This material is provided only as a helpful guide and does not replace the information and instructions contained in the motor vehicle's owner's manual and product manufacturer's recommendations. Users are cautioned to consult the motor vehicle's owner's manual and product manufacturer's recommendations for additional information and instructions. Failure to follow the motor vehicle's owner's manual and the product manufacturer's recommendations could result in damage to your vehicle or personal injury. Additionally, users should be aware of the applicable laws of their local jurisdiction. Any product information is provided by the supplier or manufacturer of the product and should not be construed as advice. Wal-Mart does not sponsor, recommend or endorse any third party, product, service or information provided on this site.

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