Does The Penny Test Actually Work?

If the tread on your tires is excessively worn out, it will prevent you from operating a safe car. Luckily there are various techniques that you can use to check the tread on your tires. One of them is the easiest and most talked about method of checking your tire tread, and all you need is some spare change and a couple of minutes of your time. The penny test will help you know when it's time to replace a tire on your vehicle. 


Measuring Tread with the Penny Test

Brand new tires generally have 10/32-11/32 inches of tread. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, it is advised that drivers should swap out their tires once they have reached the 2/32 inch range. In fact, most states in the U.S. enforce operators to replace their tires at that depth. The tricky part is that it is not simple to pull out a ruler to measure something so small. The simplest way to measure your tread depth is using the penny test. 

Here is the procedure:

  1. Place the penny with Lincoln's head upside down between the tread of your tire.
  2. If part of the head is covered, that means your wheels are still in good shape.
  3. If you can see Lincoln's entire head, then your tread has been worn to 2/32 inch or less, and it's time to get your tires replaced! If you do not see his head, your tread is still measured to be above 2/32 inches. 

In some cases, you might be able to skip the steps of the Penny Test. Newer vehicles come with indicator bars that alert you when your tread is worn down to 2/32". No matter how you choose to measure your tires, you should always be aware and regularly check your tires. 


The Dangers of Overworn Tires

As tire tread wears down, your car becomes less capable of channeling water, and the risk of hydroplaning increases. It is even more dangerous in the winter when driving on snowy or icy roads, as it becomes more challenging for your tires to make contact with the road. If you are driving with aged tires, please be wary about giving yourself some extra time to come to a complete stop.


Let us know if you try the Penny test works for you! If you find that your tires need repairs or a replacement, give us a call or bring your vehicle to Old School Automotive today. Our expert technicians can get your automobile back in excellent running condition.