Tire tread is the key factor that indicates when you need to replace your vehicle's tires. Tread provides you with the necessary traction to safely stop and turn. Lastly, treads on your tires help funnel water out from under the tire to minimize hydroplaning on wet roads.
The U.S. Department of Transportation suggests that motorists replace tires when they've worn down to 2/32 inch (or 1.6 mm).
Signs of Wear
Besides tread depth of less than 2/32 inch, other signs can indicate the need for new tires, including:
- Exposed fabric or cord on the tires
- Bump, bulge, or knot that impacts the tire structure
- Unrepairable punctures
- Uneven wear caused by driving on a flat tire
- Bent, cracked, rusty, or damaged rim/wheel
- Improper tire repairs and services
While tread depth is an obvious indicator, it can be difficult to measure an increment that tiny. Most professionals use a tread depth gauge to measure tread. But if you don't have one on hand, you can use a penny.
How to Do the Penny Test
The penny test has always been a quick and convenient method to measure your tire tread. Here are the steps on how to do the penny test:
- Grab a penny and point President Lincoln's head down towards the ridge of the tire.
- Insert the penny and inspect where Lincoln's head is.
- If you do not see Lincoln's head, your tire treads are still more than 2/32 inches. If all of Lincoln's head is visible, your treads are way too low, and you need your tires replaced ASAP.
If you are in need of new tires, you can depend on the experts at Lexbrodies to help you test, choose, and install your tires. We can also help you with all your other tire services so that you can maintain a safe and reliable ride. Please give us a call or visit one of our locations to make an appointment!