How to Check Your Tire Treads with a Penny

Tires are one of the most important safety features on your automobile. One aspect of your tires that you should regularly check, especially this time of year, is their tire treads. Doing so is a piece of cake. There’s a known method called the Penny Test, and today, we will tell you all about it and how to do it.

Before we get into the steps, you have some background on why tire tread depth is so important. The treads are the circumference surface of the tires where your vehicle touches the road. The more you drive your vehicle, the more the tread surface will wear down. In other words, low tread depth is a major indicator that it is time to change your tires. Too low of tread depth is a problem with tires because they lose their ability to gain proper traction on the road. It can especially be problematic for worn tires to operate on slick roads. In severe cases, it can cause hydroplaning. If your tire treads are 2/32 of an inch or less, it is past due for a tire replacement.

How to Perform the Penny Test

Now that you know why tire tread depth is so vital, here are the steps you can take to catch worn tires early on:

  • Position the penny with Lincoln’s head pointed down into the tire’s tread grooves.
    • If you can still observe the top of Lincoln’s head, there’s more than 2/32 of an inch of tread remaining, meaning your tires are in acceptable condition.
    • If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tire treads are worn at or past the 2/32-inch mark. You need to swap out your tires soon.

Make sure you test multiple grooves on each tire to get an accurate diagnosis. If some parts of your tires fail the test, and some parts pass, it means you have uneven wear patterns. This is commonly a result of poor maintenance. You will still need to replace your tire(s).

How to Make Sure Your Tires Wear Evenly

To make sure your tires last a long time and at even rates, please have your tires rotated, balanced, and aligned when necessary. These maintenance items are key in helping your tires stay in good shape.

If you are looking for reliable tire services or repairs, please do not hesitate to bring your car to Chimney Rock Car Care

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2839 Chimney Rock Road Houston, TX, 77056 (713) 840-8781