Dry rolling-sliding wear tests have been carried out in the present work to investigate the tribological behavior of the novel surface engineered layers produced on AISI 316 austenitic stainless steel by the low-temperature, plasma-carburizing technique. Three carburized layers with varying thickness, ranging from 15 to 40 mum, have been tested using the Amsler configuration. The results show that the carburized layers can prevent surface plastic deformation and improve the wear resistance of the steel during the early stage of the wear process. However, subsurface plastic deformation occurs beneath the layer, leading to the catastrophic failure of the layer and a transition in the wear rate after a limited duration of testing. The thickest layer tested produces the best wear performance under the present rolling-sliding test conditions.