You bought a used car and you have no idea the last time the tires were replaced. Do you have enough tread left on them? Is there a quick way you can check your tire tread depth without too much hassle? What if we here at Buckeye Complete Auto Care told you that you can test your tire tread with a penny? You can! This quick and easy tread test can also be done with a quarter, so grab whichever coin you prefer and get ready to check the tread depth on your tires to see if it’s time to replace them.
Light Is Your Friend
You’ll want plenty of bright light for this test because you’ll be testing your vehicle’s tire tread depth all over each wheel. If you have great garage lighting – See? Now you can defend your decision to install custom lighting in your garage to your spouse! – you can perform the test in the garage. If your garage lighting isn’t that great, pull your car, truck, or SUV out into the bright afternoon sun and park it. You can also enlist your spouse, your child, or a friend to help you by holding a flashlight.
Flip the Coin
Once you’re in sufficient light to see all four tires clearly, flip your penny or quarter so the head side is facing you. Honest Abe or Truthful George are going to tell you whether you need a new set of tires, so you must see their heads clearly. Push the coin in between your tire tread rows in several places with the top of the president’s head facing toward the tire. Push the coin in until it stops against the tire tread. If you can see all of Abe’s or George’s head, your tread depth is too low.
Inspect Your Tread
If the tire tread covered some of either president’s head, you still have tire tread left but you aren’t done yet. Inspect the tread on each tire to make sure it’s wearing down evenly. If you bought a used car, you have no idea if the previous driver had the tires rotated every 6,000 miles as recommended. If you notice that the tread has patches of wear, the tread isn’t wearing down evenly and you might need to have the wheels balanced or aligned. Improper inflation also wears down the tread unevenly.
Need new tires? Call Buckeye Complete Auto Care in Columbus, OH, at 614-285-3453.