Since Winter is very quickly approaching, in some cases, has already hit your state with beautiful snow, it is time to make sure those tires are working properly. Strong treads = strong traction. Would you believe me if I told you, you can check your tire treads by using a shiny penny?
Well, you better believe me because it’s true. Checking your treads with a penny is simple; it takes about 2 seconds and saves you a trip to the shop. So go grab those pennies and I will teach you a simple way to test your treads!
Check Your Tire Treads With Just A Penny & A Quarter
First things first. Grab a very shiny penny and a quarter to test. The shinier the better! Place the penny between your thumb and forefinger and select a tire to test.
Look at your tire and find the lowest tread area to measure. The lower the tread the more accurate this experiment will be since we are testing to see if you need new tires or not! Using your fingers, place the penny (Lincoln’s head should be first) into the tread. You will be looking at Lincoln’s head and the area before to determine how low your treads are.
If your tread reaches Lincoln’s head and covers it, good news! You don’t need new tires (as shown in the picture above). If the tread barely hits Lincoln’s head or doesn’t even touch it at all.. you’ll need a new tire before Winter.
Check the other three tires to determine how many you need to replace. Having low treads causes less traction on the road when you are driving. Which obviously means more dangerous driving in the snow!
Now, you might be wondering what to do with the quarter? The same thing you just did with a penny! The penny test will determine if you need tires RIGHT NOW, whereas the quarter test will give you more wiggle room. To play it safe we will test with a quarter. If the tread doesn’t reach Washington’s head then you will EVENTUALLY need to replace your tires; I would say anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months depending on how you drive and your tires. Therefore, if you don’t reach Washington’s head, wait a couple weeks and check with the penny.
Also, fun fact. Did you know your tires have a “wear bar” that can help determine how low your treads are? Check out the picture below. That tiny bar between treads, if even with your treads, means you need new tires! But most people don’t even recognize them.
I can’t tell you exactly when you should change your tires, but I will say if your treads don’t even hit Lincoln’s head on the penny you are way over due! Your tires are very important for your safety, especially in bad driving conditions.
Stay safe out there this winter. Check your tire treads and Winterize Your Vehicle before it’s too late!