When a tire tread depth test is performed, does the tire, or is it best for tire to be properly inflated? Would the tire being underinflated affect the tire tread depth test results?

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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Apr 1, 2021 at 21:12
  • Reading between the lines, it sounds like you're trying to justify delaying replacement of some marginal tyres? Tyres, brake pads/rotors, seatbelts, they're all safety systems and trying to get every last bit of wear out of them may not be the best plan. Marginal really does mean "this needs replacing soon" Consider that new tyre tread depth is probably five times as much as you have now. (comment because not an answer)
    – Criggie
    Apr 2, 2021 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


For the most part, it won't have any effect on it. The reason for this is steel belts which run the circumference of a radial tire (radial tires are found on almost all passenger vehicles ... bias ply may be used for specialized vehicles/needs, but really aren't too prevalent in day to day life). The steel belts help the tire roll, but they also provide a fairly solid surface as well, which means there isn't going to be much flex in the tread area.

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    I would add that the tread depth reading is made at the shallowest point on the tire tread. Ten good measurements plus one bad measurement equals a tire that needs to be replaced.
    – mikes
    Apr 1, 2021 at 21:58

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