Do It Yourself: The Penny (Quarter) Test

November 2, 2011

Protect yourself on the road by following these easy, do-it-yourself steps to check the tread on your tires. Worn out tires are dangerous in wet and snowy conditions because there is less room for water to escape from under the tire. A “bald” tire has a longer stopping distance and increases the risk of hydroplaning. Most tires start to wear down significantly between 25,000 and 40,000 miles, but if you’re unsure of your tire safety, follow these steps:

1. Get a clean penny. Make sure you can actually see the details of President Lincoln’s outline.

2. Place the penny in the tread. Put Honest Abe in upside down so the top of his head is going into the tread.

3. Check to see if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head. If you can, your tires have reached 1/16th of an inch and need to be replaced.

Do not wait to replace your tires when you are able to see Lincoln’s head. Better yet, we recommend performing the same test using aquarter. The distance between George Washington’s head and the edge of the coin is 1/8th of an inch and is a better tool indicating when drivers should begin looking for new tires.

Tires with a good tread-depth will protect you and your family on the road, but can also transform your driving experience. Check out this video for more information on tires.

What do you think of the penny test? Have you ever used this tool to check your tread? Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page!