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Car door squeaking and tire tread vs penny test

Hey everyone, 2 questions here:

(1) my driver’s side car door squeaks whenever I open and close the door. I’m assuming the hinges need a good lubing. What can I use on the hinges? (please correct me if I am wrong to assume squeaky door is caused by this)

(2) At what tread depth do you suggest to change tires? (I did the penny test and the tire depth was written at recent oil change (6/32)…penny test seems to show lower than 6/32 so wanted to know at what level would you change tires?

thank you for all your replies…much appreciated!! sorry for my car ignorance!

Car: Honda Accord 2002 Ex 2.3L automatic with 104,000 miles

  1. Just about any lubricant will stop the squeak if you get it to penetrate into the area where the squeak originates. Lithium grease is good because it stays put and therefore the squeak won’t come back for a long time.

  2. Most states with safety inspections would fail a tire at 2/32 or below. That means you can clearly see the top of Mr. Lincoln’s head on a penny. I replaced tires that were still legal recently because we are heading into winter. When the tread is near 3/32 you can have more tendancy to “hydroplane” and you won’t have very good traction if you have to drive in snow.

Tires at 6/32 are still in pretty good shape, but if you don’t feel you have enough tread you can get new tires. Considering $500 deductible on your insurance, good tires are worth the money if it helps you avoid an accident.

I use white grease, which comes in a spray can from any auto parts store. Spray the hinges and the end of the arm attached to it.

The penny test is a good general guide for tire replacement. It appears you are about ready for replacement. You can also examine the built-in rubber links between treads. If their surface is even with the tops of adjacent tread, it is time.

Thanks for your replies. If any lubricant works, then can I use wd40?

wd40 is not a “lubricant”

WD40 is really more of a cleaner than a lubricant. It will penetrate and stop the squeak, but only for a short time. It really “cleans” off the old grease and you need to get something more substantial on there to keep the squeak from coming back.

WD-40 is a Water Displacement. The 40 refers to the 40th try to get it right.

Note: when used for things like locks, it will gum them up until they no longer work.

  1. White lithium grease is best for this. You can get it in a spray can at any auto parts store.

  2. 6/32 is approximately 50% tread wear. They should be good for quite a while. If you’re really curious, you can buy a tread depth gauge at an auto parts store. They should be around a couple dollars, although I don’t know because I have never bought one. I still have three of them from my time spent as an auto mechanic. If you have any symptoms relating to tires, such as them easily losing traction in the rain, it would be a good idea to replace them regardless. I once replaced and deliberately destroyed a set of tires that still had 8/32 of tread on them (new ones normally have 10-12) because they would hydroplane at speeds above 45mph. I cut the sidewalls with a knife so they could not be installed on another vehicle and end up hurting anybody.

thanks everyone!! I’m going tomorrow to autozone to purchase the white lithium grease. Better to be safe than sorry so I do plan to purchase tires this week…I’ve purchased tires from costco before but have had bad experiences with them honoring their warranty when I’ve done proper maintenance…off to find a new place;)

In the sizes your car takes, tires usually come with either 10 or 11 /32nds of an inch tread depth new. That means there is 8 or 9 /32nds usable.

Your car is a FWD which means the front tires are going to wear 2? times faster than the rears. This makes regular rotations important so that the tires wear at the same rate.

It is common knowledge within the tire industry that as tires wear, wet and snow traction gradually degrade. Many folks within the tire industry are saying that at 5/32nds the snow traction has been compromised enough that you should remove them. They also say that at 4/32nds, the wet traction has been compromised enough that the tires should be replaced. And at 2/32nds, the tire should be removed - period.

So depending on where you live, you may want to take the safer alternative and remove your tires long before you get to the point where the penny test shows you need to replace your tires.

Regarding the white gunk lithium grease, I bought the aerosol. I was just wondering if the grease comes out white but hardens clear or will my hinges have this white gunk on it?

I think 4/32" is a good depth to start shopping for new tires. However, there should be wear indicators inside the treads. Ask a tire professional to show you where they are so you can judge for yourself.