What Does 4/32 Tire Tread Percentage Mean? Find Out More About Your Tire

Regarding commercial vehicles, tread depth may significantly influence both safety and profitability, yet most drivers don’t give it much thought.

When considering more tread depth, you may ask, “what does 4/32 tread mean?”. This writing will provide all significant information about the 4/32 tire tread percentage and more.

An Important Concern: Tread Depth Of A Tire

4/32 tire tread percentage
Tread Depth Of A Tire

What Is The Tread Depth Of A Tire?

Initially, we need to learn the fundamentals of tread depth before delving into the specifics of 4/32 tread depth. So now, what is the tread depth?

The part of the tire that actually makes contact with the pavement is called the tread. The standard tread depth for brand-new tires is between 8 and 9 millimeters (10/32 and 11/32 inches).

The tread will gradually diminish as you drive. Tires having a tread depth of less than 1.6 mm (2/32 inches) are not gripping the road well.

Reducing stopping time and making it harder to handle the car. If you want to keep driving safely, you need to get rid of these tires.

The depth, design, and rubber composition of your tires’ tread all contribute to how well they perform in rainy and wintry situations, so give them some thought.

Braking effectiveness decreases on damp or snow-covered roadways as tread depth decreases. With diminishing tread depths, you’re more likely to aquaplane on wet roads.

As a result, it’s important to keep an eye on your tires, slow down on slippery roads, and think about getting new tires when it’s time.

Make sure your car has the right tires for the season, whether winter, summer, or all year.

Check for cupping or scalloping while gauging tread depth. These are divots or little scoops cut out of the tread. They might be an early warning sign of misalignment or mechanical issues with your car.

Alternatively, if you notice any unusual tire noise, it’s best to get your vehicle checked out. Tire tread and sidewall bulges should also be avoided. They should not be trusted. A new tire is needed.

Why Is It Crucial?

Tread Depth is significant because of its effects. So, what are they?

Your tires are the first line of defense when protecting yourself and others on the road. Spinning and stopping safely need tires with enough tread depth.

Inadequate tread depth might cause some problems for your car, such as:

  • Enhanced stopping efficiency
  • Less grip in wintry or slippery situations
  • You should be extra cautious whenever it rains because of the possibility of aquaplaning.
  • Worsened potential for tire failure.
  • The loss of acceleration energy
  • Reduced fuel performance

You may be more concerned about tire tread depth if you live in a wet or snowy climate. Hydroplaning is more likely to occur on moist surfaces when your tires are worn.

This happens when water builds up in the tire, and the grooves cannot drain it. So instead of keeping its wheels on the ground, the automobile skims around the water’s surface.

This prevents the tires from reacting to the steering input.

If you’ve ever been through it, you understand how scary it can be. When snow or ice is on the ground, or there isn’t enough tread depth, it is harder to stop.

Another maneuver is the fishtail, a sideways slide during acceleration or a sharp turn.

While driving, extreme heat has its unique challenges. Remember that tires with a limited tread life may degrade rapidly on hot roads this summer.

Ways To Check The Tire Tread

There are three ways to check the tire tread that you can conduct by yourself:

  • Penny Tire Analysis

You may use one of many common methods to determine how much tread is left on your tires. The penny test is a quick and straightforward method.

To achieve this, place a coin in your tire’s tread pattern with Lincoln’s head pointing in the other direction.

The recommended tread depth is 2/32 inches. So, if you can see every inch of Lincoln’s face, your tires need to be replaced.

  • Quarter-Tire Test

The quarter test is another simple coin inspection. Put a coin in the tread groove to test it. To have 4/32 inches of tire left, the tread must reach the top of Washington’s head.

  • Bar Indicator for Tire Tread Wear

Do you have any spare cash? There is no need to worry. The treadwear indication bar is a common tire feature used to gauge tread depth. The bars are positioned in some different tread grooves throughout the tire.

When these bars flush with the surrounding ribs, no more than 2/32 or 3/32 tire tread should be seen. When this happens, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to get new tires.

  • Tread Depth Gauge Measure

Tire tread depth gauges are another tool you may use to determine how much tread is left on your tires.

Usually, the depth of a tire’s tread is measured in 32nds of an inch, which is equal to around 25 or 26 millimeters.

When it comes to treading depth, some gauges use an expanding needle-like construction. Tires get worn in various places. Thus many readings from different spots on the tire should be obtained.

4/32 Tire Tread Percentage

3 32 tread depth
4/32 Tread Depth

What Does It Mean?

Used tire tread may be up to 90%, although the average is 6-8/32″. A suitable tread depth for tires is 6/32″ or 4/32″ for 13-14″ tires.

The standard 2/32″ tread depth required by law is well below what is safe for driving.

Furthermore, most automobile dealerships need a minimum of 4/32″ tread depth before accepting a trade-in.

In addition, the tread depth of front tires, including the steering tire, must be at least 2/32 of an inch. A minimum tread depth of 2/32″ is required on alternate tires.

How Do You Measure Tire Tread?

You can check the three above ways to measure the tread depth. You also notice the tire’s height, as measured from the bottom of the tread groove to the peak of the tread.

Measuring tread depth involves inspecting the whole tread region.

  • In the middle
  • On the periphery
  • Outside

Tire tread depth is defined as the value at the bottom of the scale.

To What Extent May You Use A Tire With 4/32 Tread Depth?

Tire tread depth is shown in 32nds of an inch by the gauge. The minimum acceptable tread depth for a set of tires is a 6/32 tread depth percentage.

When the tread is 4/32 tire tread percentage or less, it’s time to start thinking about changing your tires. New tires are necessary when the tread depth drops to 2/32 or below because it is a dangerous tire.

DOT Tire Regulation: What You Should Know?

what does 4 32 tread mean
What You Should Know Of DOT Tire Regulation

Keep in mind that keeping your truck in good working order is vital for your legal limit compliance and safety when driving.

Therefore, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) keeps track of various vehicle laws for public safety.

When operating a commercial vehicle, it is the driver’s or carrier’s duty to be familiar with Department of Transportation (DOT) tire rules and to perform routine maintenance inspections to ensure the vehicle is in good working condition at all times.

Therefore, knowing how drivers, carriers, and trailers may or may not be affected by the various requirements and implementations of DOT tire requirements is useful.

It takes more than a cursory inspection before hitting the road to ensure that tires are in good working order. Several sections of the CFR are relevant to complying with DOT tire and FMCSA standards.

Tires are expressly addressed in eCFR Section 393.75 (Tires).

The following section explains the key concerns to be aware of while examining tires, including specific laws concerning overall tire quality, tire wear, and grooves, and the kinds of tires authorized.


When Should Tires Be Replaced?

The minimum tread depth required to pass the safety inspection in the United States is 2/32″.

Therefore, you should get new tires if your current set has tread depth that is more than 2/32 inches deep.

Is 4/32 A Good Tread depth?

When the tread is 4/32 of an inch or less, it’s time to start thinking about changing your tires. However, you may drive with 4/32 if you are in an urgent condition and replace them after the journey.

What Is Unsafe Tire Tread Depth?

Tires with a tread depth of less than 1.6 mm (2/32 inches) must be gripping the road well, reducing stopping time and making it harder to handle the carSo toTo keep driving safely, you must get rid of these tires.


A 4/32 tire tread percentage means your tires are not in good condition, and you need to consider replacing them. In addition, you should drive more cautiously and at a slower pace while carrying a heavy load.

Read some expert tire tips to extend the life of your season tires from 5/32 to 7/32 tire tread percentage.

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