Do Your Tires Pass the Penny Test? What You Need to Know About Tread Depth – Evans Tire & Service Centers

One of the first maintenance tricks that many car owners learn is the penny screen. however, many individuals do not know how to by rights test their tires using a penny or what the results mean .
Tread depth is an important gene in tire function. If your tires do not have adequate tread, they can not properly grip the road. This insufficiency can make your car handle ailing and create a base hit hazard. In this web log, we discuss how and when the penny test should be used, angstrom well as how you should respond to the results .
The Penny Test
The penny screen is fairly simple, but many drivers do not feel convinced in completing the test or interpreting the results. To test your treads, turn the penny top down with Lincoln ’ sulfur heading facing you.

Insert the coin into your tire treads until the top of the coin touches the condom at the bottomland of the groove. On a tire with adequate tread, the clear of Lincoln ’ south head will disappear. If you can see all of Lincoln ’ second promontory, the tread has worn down excessively low .
What many individuals do not know is that the penny test may not reflect all legal requirements for tread depth. In fact, by the clock you can see all of Lincoln ’ second capitulum, your treads have worn low adequate that your tires are in violation of safety laws and in necessitate of immediate substitute .
This fact makes the penny test an undependable appraisal that may encourage drivers to continue operating a car with perilously worn out tires .
alternatively, you may want to adopt the quarter test as outlined below .
The Quarter Test
On a penny, the space between the top of Lincoln ’ sulfur head and the external edge of the coin measures 2/32 of an inch, which is besides the absolute minimal measurement of run down treads on most tire types.

On the quarter, however, the space between the lead of Washington ’ second steer and the edge of the mint measures 4/32 of an column inch .
You complete the quarter test the same as the penny test. Simply hold the mint top down with Washington ’ s face on the side of the mint you ’ re looking at. Insert the coin into the bore step to measure. If Washington ’ sulfur drumhead is partially obscured by the run down, you have adequate tread for safe drive, even in wet conditions .
If Washington ’ s capitulum is fully visible, it ’ mho clock time to start shopping for new tires. ideally, you should replace your tires while the treads fail the quarter quiz but still pass the penny test so you don ’ thymine spend any meter driving on perilously worn out treads .
Testing Accuracy
As with any other automotive test or sustenance you perform yourself, you want to ensure that your tread test results are accurate. Always follow these guidelines to properly test tire tread :

  • Check that your tires are inflated properly before testing the tread. Tire pressure factors heavily into vehicle handling and can, in some cases, change the depth reading of tire treads. Improper tire pressure also contributes to uneven tire wear, shortening the overall lifespan of your tires.
  • Complete the quarter or penny test at least once yearly, preferably before you start to experience cold and wet fall weather. If you live in a climate with precipitation throughout the year, check at least twice a year before the two rainiest seasons. Find new tires if you need them before the rain hits because inadequate tread contributes to the risk of hydroplaning.
  • Insert the coin fully, without allowing it to roll to either side. If you can’t remember how to measure properly or want to check your results, measure using an official tire tread depth gauge instead of a coin.
  • Test the portion of your tire that looks the most worn down first. If that section fails, the entire tire fails the test. Test multiple spots on the tire to ensure that you don’t miss a worn-out patch.

In addition to testing your tread once or doubly per annum, pay attention to the way your vehicle handles. You may want to visually inspect your tires when you hit a pothole, when you suspect you ’ ve driven over a sharp object, when you notice a tire press alert, or when you notice a change in how your car turns and stops.

If you notice drastically different results from unlike sections of your tires, you may have an alignment or rotation emergence that needs to be diagnosed and addressed by a reputable automobile mechanic .
Check your step depth regularly indeed you can plan ahead and get new tires right when you need them. To learn more about maintaining your tires, including other ways to detect tread wear as it happens, read our web log “ Tire Wear and Care. ”
Is it time to start looking for new tires ? Need a second opinion from an adept to determine whether or not your current tread is accurate ? Find high-quality and cost-efficient tires that provide your car with its best handle from Evans Tire and Service Centers .

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