To perform the tire penny test, follow these steps:
- Step #1: Understand when to perform the tire penny test
- Step #2: collect your tools
- Step #3: rotate the penny in the right direction
- Step #4: insert the penny between the treads
- Step #5: determine the height of the rubber covering the penny
- Step #6: repeat the same process on different portions around the tire
- Step #7: repeat the process on the four different tires
- Step #8: interpret the results
- Step #9: take the right actions
Your vehicle tires are one of the most critical components you must keep up with. There are tons of maintenance that you must follow to protect them and keep them in good condition.
While you need to keep an eye on obvious damages to the tires, one might underestimate the danger of worn-out tires, especially if there's insufficient tread.
You don't necessarily have to go to a professional to understand whether your tires are in good condition. There are many simple approaches that you can't implement yourself and will only take from you one single minute!
This article walks you through all you need to know about the tire penny test, its meaning, how it's done, and more!
What is the tire penny test?
Before we dive into the details about how to perform the tire penny test, we must understand what the tire penny test means and what it is used for.
The tire penny test is a simple technique you can implement without needing a professional to understand how much tread you still have in your tires. Your vehicle tire must have enough tread, according to the manufacturer. Otherwise, you can deal with risky situations that could cause your vehicle to slip on the road and not grip tightly.
While there are tons of other tools you can try to check on the vehicle tire tread; the penny test is considered one of the most accurate ones that do not need fancy tools and does not take much time.
How to perform the entire penny Test?
Considering the importance of the tire penny test, one might be curious about the process and what exactly you'll need. To perform a tire penny test, you only need a penny and your vehicle tires.
Here's all you need to do to perform the tire penny test:
· Step #1: Understand when to perform the tire penny test
The first step before performing any pennies test is understanding how often you should do this test. As you will see in the next steps, the process is not very complicated, and it takes just a couple of minutes.
Typically, automotive experts recommend performing the penny test once every six months to ensure that your tires are in good condition and safe enough for you to continue driving your vehicle.
Performing the test itself is different from what you need to know only because there is some other information you must keep in mind before looking at the results. For example, you will have to confirm that there are at least 10/32 inches of tread in your vehicle to consider it safe and continue driving this car.
· Step #2: collect your tools
Luckily, performing the penny test does not require many tools. All you need is a clean penny and your vehicle tires.
· Step #3: rotate the penny in the right direction
Once you're ready and your vehicle is in a secured place, and it moves, the next step is to turn the penny in the right direction to start the process. You want to ensure that Abe’s head is pointing at the tire before you Insert the penny between the treads.
This is a critical step because, based on it, you’ll determine whether you have enough tread in your tires.
· Step #4: insert the penny between the treads
Once you're ready, slide the penny between the treads and measure how much tread you have. You want to ensure that the Abe is still pointing towards the center of the tire to take the right measurements.
· Step #5: determine the height of the rubber covering the penny
Perform a visual inspection and see how much rubber covers the Abraham Lincoln shape on the penny. This information should give you a good estimate of how much tread you have in the tire.
· Step #6: repeat the same process on different portions around the tire
Remember that performing the penny test on one part of the tire does not tell you the whole picture. In other words, the tire will not be w wearing out the same way in all locations, especially if you have some issues with alignment.
Therefore, if you feel that there is good and enough tread in one location, that doesn't tell you the whole story, and you have to repeat the same process on multiple portions of your tire.
You might even need to start the vehicle and allow the tires to roll at least once to take a look at the treads and bottom location and perform the process correctly.
· Step #7: repeat the process on the four different tires
You don't only need to perform the penny test on one tire because you have to repeat the same process on different tires. In some situations, the tires might not wear out at the same level, especially if you have problems with alignment or potentially in the suspension system.
· Step #8: interpret the results
Once you're done with the penny test, the next step is determining how much trade you have left and whether you're in good condition to continue driving your car. According to experts, if you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s hair of the penny, then you don't have enough tread and must replace the tire immediately.
However, if you think the tire tread is covering a good portion of the hair, you should be in good condition.
Some people might be using a quarter instead of a penny, and in that case, they should focus on replacing the tires if they can see George Washington’s hair, which is close to 4/32 inches of tread.
· Step #9: take the right actions
Once you finish performing the penny test on all tires, the next step is to take the right actions. These actions differ depending on what you're noticing, which involves:
Continue driving the car
If the Penney test reveals that your retired trade is in good condition, you can continue driving your vehicle without any problems. Remember that you need to repeat the same tests in six months and if you feel that you need to repeat it before then, feel free to do so because this could indicate that your tires are about to wear out.
Sometimes some customers and drivers prefer to go ahead and replace the tires if there is still a limited amount of tread, especially if they're approaching the winter season. For example, if winter has heavy snow and you're concerned about your vehicle sliding, this could be perfect timing to replace the tires even if you still have limited tread.
Replace the tires
confirms that you don't have enough tread, so you must perform a tire replacement. Remember that replacing the tires might be a few things to do. In other words, your mechanic might advise you to replace two or even four tires in some brands at once.
Did you know that some manufacturers might require you to place the four tires if you have a problem with one tire? This is because if you're installing a new tire with a different tire tread, you might cause some damages and biases to the current vehicle alignment that could result in further problems in the other tires.
Replacing the tire requires some money. In other words, you have to be prepared to pay for not only the parts cost but also the labor cost. Some people prefer to buy used tires, which could be in perfect condition, but this has risks that might result in sudden problems that you need more time to be ready for. However, it's a great option for those who cannot afford to purchase brand-new tires.
As you're buying new tires, confirm that you're buying them from a legitimate location. Many people and experts recommend avoiding buying tires online because you might run into many issues concerning compatibility and tire sizes. Therefore, the easiest and safest way to replace the tires is to go to the nearest shop where you can get the tires replaced and confirm that everything is in good condition immediately.
In some instances, you might need to perform tire alignment after replacing the tires, especially if the old tire had many issues with the tread and if it resulted in biasing the current alignment of your vehicle.
Is the penny test for tires accurate?
According to automotive experts, the penny test is a good rough estimate for the current tread in your vehicle. However, some experts think that the approach needs to be updated, and there are better tools that you can rely on to provide more accurate results.
Although there could be some better tools that you can rely on to get more accurate results, the pending test is a good quick tool to rely on if you're not feeling comfortable driving your vehicle with the current tread level. However, you should only rely on it partially if the vehicle tread is about to wear out to the point where it's not safe to drive your car.
Your mechanic can help you perform a quick visual inspection to see whether your tires are at a critical stage where you need to replace them.
Tire penny test: Final thoughts
Your vehicle tires are critical components that have to do with your safety because they determine how well your car grips the road. When tires wear out, the first thing that you might notice is the amount of tread left on the tire.
Every diver must ensure that all tires h have enough tread to continue driving the vehicle safely without any concerns about slipping. A simple way to determine how much tread is there and whether this tread is enough or not is by performing the tire penny test.
This article provided you with a step-by-step process on how to perform the tire penny test. Highlighting what actions need to be taken following the test and what the results mean.
If you feel that your tire treads are continuously wearing out without any clear reason and before the end of their lifetime, it could be an internal problem causing this. In other words, your vehicle might be suffering from something major that you must take care of immediately.
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