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Using the Penny Test to Check Your Tires

Posted on 10/18/2013 by AKilgore   |  0 Comments

Using the Penny Test to Check Your Tires

Did you know worn tires are a leading contributor to vehicle crashes? While the naked eye may not always be able to detect what is and is not acceptable tread, there is a simple test you can use: the penny test.

That’s right. A common U.S. penny can be used to judge whether your tires are road ready or in need of being replaced. Here’s how the penny test works:

Step 1: Find a penny. Preferably one that is newer as older pennies tend to be dark making it hard to see honest Abe’s face.
Step 2: Hold the penny between your thumb and forefinger, with Abe’s head pointed downward.
Step 3: Choose a point in your tire tread that seems to be low. Place the penny head-first into the grooves on the tread.
Step 4: If your tire tread is 2/32” or greater, the top of Abe Lincoln’s head will be covered. If you can see above his head, where it says “In God We Trust,” your treads are too shallow and should be replaced.

It’s important to also check more than one groove to see if your tire has uneven wear. Because tires don’t wear evenly, be sure to check the tread on each tire to ensure that the tread depth for each is safe. Using the penny test as part of your preventative maintenance routine will provide you peace of mind when it comes to your tires and safety.


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