The Penny Test – Inspecting Your Tire’s Tread Wear

With all the factors that can contribute to tire damage, being fully prepared and ready to take on the trouble can possibly save you from wasting too much time, effort, and a whole lot of money. Extreme weather conditions, age, improper usage, and neglectful care towards tires can be the root of a sudden tread issue, so consistently inspecting the tread wear can really help you out all across the board. Whether you’re a full-on car connoisseur or a total motor world newbie, the penny test can be a quick, simple method for checking out tires for any possible tread damage.

Using the penny test can be pretty convenient for those unfamiliar with tire tread damage. All that’s needed is, of course, a penny, and the inspection can begin! Simply place your penny into your tire’s grooves with Lincoln’s head pointing downwards; if honest Abe’s head is completely covered by the tread, you’re golden. However, if you can easily spot the top of his head peeking out, it may be time for a brand new tire due to some wear and tear.

This little trick bases its effective results on the recommended tire tread depth according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which is around 10/32”. When a tire’s tread is in bad shape, hitting a mark below 2/32” can be a major sign that your tires need to be replaced; the depth of the tread may be preventing your tires from gaining the proper amount of traction on the road, especially in more severe weather conditions.

If the penny test isn’t your thing, using a tread depth gauge is another simple method of inspection. Still, you may be more likely to already have a penny handy instead of a gauge when an emergency situation hits, so keep your tires safe and sturdy, and let Lincoln examine those tires!