Besides the obvious flat tire or blowout, how are you supposed to tell when you need new tires? Well, you need to look at its tread depth. Tire treads are the grooves or ridges in car tires that support their grip on the road. Over time, these smoothen out and can bring down your vehicle's performance and safety.
You might be wondering, "at what point is it too thin or dangerous" You can tell by doing this easy test called the penny test.
More About the Penny Test
The US Dept. of Transportation claims that you should not let your tread fall below 2/32". Once it reaches 2/32", you likely won't pass your vehicle inspection. Furthermore, your driving can become dangerous as early as having 4/32" of the tread.
With a measure that small, it's hard to tell with your eye alone. And most people don't have fancy tread measuring tools. Thankfully, you can trust the penny test!
- Using the penny, place the coin with the head upside down against one of the grooves on your tire.
- If Lincoln's head is covered, it suggests that your tires are still in good shape.
- If part of his head is covered, you may need new tires soon.
- If you can see his entire head, your tread depth is 2/32 inch or less, meaning you need to install new tires ASAP!
Why Is Having Low Treads Unsafe?
When your tire treads become less prominent, the tires become less effective at channeling water, making wet roads slippery. Therefore, it increases your likelihood of hydroplaning. If you are driving with low treads, please give yourself extra stopping time.
If you try the penny test and fail it, please know that the tire experts at Robbie's At Your Service are here to help. We can help you find the right tires for your vehicle and help you with your tire maintenance to feel safe on the road again. Please call or visit our Merritt Island auto repair shop soon!