Ford F-150: How To Check Tire Tread

It's easy to forget about the tire tread on your Ford F-150 or Super Duty. Luckily, checking your tires' tread depth is about as simple as it gets when it comes to maintenance. All you need is a penny (or a quarter) in order to know if you need a new tire.

By Jim Dillon - September 15, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-150 and the Super Duty F-250 and F-350.

There's no getting around it. Each time you drive your Ford truck, you wear down the tread on the tires. The tread is what gives your tires grip, especially in the rain or snow or on grass, dirt or mud. The law in most states says your tires are worn out when they have less than 2/32nds inch of tread. Here’s an easy, effective way to check your tread depth with a couple of coins.

Step 1 - Check your tire pressure

F-150 Door Jamb Sticker
Figure 1. This sticker on your driver's side door jamb shows stock tire pressure as well as other useful information.

Make sure your tires are inflated to the recommended air pressure. If you're running stock tires, the recommended pressure will be indicated on your driver's side door panel sticker. Aftermarket tires will have the maximum and recommended tire pressure on their sides.

Step 2 - Place penny into tread groove

Tire Tread Wear Test with Penny
Figure 2. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, replace your tires.

Place a penny into the tread grooves on several spots around the tire. Make sure Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tread depth is less than 2/32nds inch and it’s time to replace the tire.

Step 3 (optional) - Place quarter into tread groove
Tire Tread Wear Test with Quarter
Figure 3. If the tread touches washington's head, you have 4/32 of an inch of tread left.

Do the same test with a quarter, again making sure the coin is in the proper position. If the tread touches Washington’s head, you have at least 4/32nds inch of tread remaining.

Pro Tip

There’s a tread wear indicator bar that’s molded into your tires. The bars are found on the bottom of the tread grooves in several spots around the tire. If the tread bar is flush with the top of the tread groove, the tire should be replaced.

Auto tire professionals recommend you replace tires in pairs (the front pair, the rear pair or all four) to make sure your F-150 or Super Duty drives smoothly, and you have the wheels aligned to prevent premature tire wear.

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