How to Check Tire Wear and Practice Tire Tread Safety - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jan 16, 2018

How to Check Tire Wear and Practice Tire Tread Safety

Checking tire wear is one of the most important elements of good car maintenance. Bald or worn tires can make your car unsafe and can even directly cause an accident. Regular tire check ups with your dealership or mechanic are the best option, but that is not always possible. Here is one example of a simple DIY trick to check tire wear and tread for those times between service calls.


Did you know you can use a penny to help judge the tread safety of your tires? It’s known as “The Penny Test” and it’s a quick and easy method that can be used to see if your tires should be replaced. Follow the steps below to test the wear of your tires in a simple and effective way:


Step 1: Gather the necessary supplies

“The Penny Test” is a simple and effective way to test the wear of your tire treads. The only supplies that are required to test your tire wear using this method are a penny and the tire that you want to test.


Step 2: Insert the penny between the tire treads

Take the penny and place it in between the treads of your tire. Be sure to put the penny in upside down so that the top of Abe Lincoln’s head is going into the treads.


Step 3: Use the penny to measure the treads

Once the penny is in between the treads of the tire, use it to measure the depth of the tread by checking to see where the tread comes to on the penny. For example, if the top of Lincoln’s head disappears into the tread, that means you have more than 2/32 of an inch of tread depth left, meaning you don’t yet need to replace them. However, if the tread does not meet or go past the top of his head, then it is time to change your tires.


Remember to use The Penny Test on different spots of your tire because one part of your tire may pass the test but another part may not. If this is the case, then there may be an issue with the inflation of your tire that could result in damage to your overall vehicle.


There are also other ways to check your tire treads. Other methods include using a tread depth gauge, tread indicator bars and even your own judgement. Sometimes, you may be able to tell that there is something wrong with your tires just by looking at them and seeing that the treads are worn. You may also be able to feel that there is something wrong with your car’s tires as you are driving.


It is important to understand and practice tire tread safety when owning a car. Many accidents including hydroplaning and losing control of your car on wet roads can be avoided simply by maintaining proper tire safety. If you feel unsure when it comes to checking your tire’s tread, head to your local auto repair shop and let a professional take a look.