Does The Penny Test Really Work To Test My Tire’s Treads?

The Penny Test, a tried and true method of measuring a car’s tire treads, is mostly popular due to its easy application and simple method. While the penny test can be a great way to quickly check the tread on your tires, when it comes to certainty, it’s usually best to have your tires tested by a professional.


If you just want a quick diagnostic on the state of your car’s tires, however, the penny test is still a good way to get a general idea. Take a penny or a similarly-sized face coin and insert it head-first into one of the grooves that make up your tire treads.


If any part of Lincoln’s head is hidden by the grooves of the tire, then your tires are safe! You don’t have to worry about getting your tires changed or rotated for at least a little while longer. If all of Lincoln’s head is visible, on the other hand, it’s a pretty good sign that you might be overdue for a tire change.


The penny test works by measuring the depth of the grooves in the tire. These grooves wear down over long periods of use as you drive about your busy routine, especially if your tires are over or under-inflated. Once worn down, your tires will not be able to grip the road as well as a new set of tires can, and you will be at greater risk when driving.


If you’ve tested your tires and found that they’re lacking, it’s best to get them replaced as quickly as possible. Your local mechanic or tire store may recommend a rotation instead of a full replacement, but it’s still a good idea to make sure your car is as safe as it can be when you’re out on the road.


While the penny test is a good diagnostic when you’ve only got a few moments, it never hurts to get a professional opinion. A qualified professional can not only determine whether your tires need to be changed, but can also identify any problem areas with your tire treads and inflation patterns.


If your tires are worn down in the center tread, and the outer rims are relatively unworn, this could be an indication that your tires are overinflated. Similarly, if your tires are worn down on their shoulders, and the middle is relatively unworn, this could be a sign that your tires are under-inflated.


The wear on your tires’ treads can also be symptomatic of deeper problems. For example, if the treads are worn unevenly, or if one side of the tire shows a significant amount of wear and tear over the other, it usually is an indication of either improper alignment or incorrect camber angle.


Either of these two conditions will require a mechanic to take a closer look at your car’s alignment. While the penny test can provide a good snapshot of your car’s tire health, when it comes to closer diagnostics, it’s best to ask the professionals.



Leave a Reply