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What is the Penny Tire Test?

Think pennies are useless? They aren’t when it comes to your vehicle’s tires. You can check to see if you need new tires with a penny. That’s right. Honest Abe wasn’t just a great president; he can also let you know how much tire tread you have left. You may have heard of the penny tire test but aren’t quite sure how it works. Fast Lane Automotive tells you how to perform a penny tire test below.

The Penny Itself

It might seem silly to worry about the penny that you’ll use for the tire test but a clean, new one is the best penny to use. You need to see Abraham Lincoln clearly, so a worn, rusty or old penny will make reading the test results difficult. Keep in mind Abe himself is going to tell you whether you need new tires, so make sure his head pops off the penny and is easy to see.

How to Do a Penny Tire Test

Grab the penny and head out to your garage. Open the door for optimal light – again, you need to see Abe clearly. If you don’t have good light in your garage, enlist your significant other, your child or a friend to hold a flashlight for you. You can hold the flashlight yourself, but it’s always a good idea to place one hand on your tire during the test to steady yourself.

Turn the Abraham Lincoln side of the penny toward you. Turn the penny so the top of Abe’s head faces the tire and place it between the tire tread lines. The purpose of the test is to see how much of your tire tread covers President Lincoln’s head. If none of the tread covers it, in other words, you can see all of Abraham Lincoln’s head, your tread is worn down too low and you need to replace your tires.

If your tire tread covers the top or all of Abe’s head, you still have tire tread left. Plan for new tires soon, however, if your tread only covers the top of his head. Perform the tire test in several places on each tire and note where the tread meets Abe’s head. If the tread covers his head in different places on a single tire, it’s wearing down unevenly and you have a balancing and/or alignment problem.

Bring your vehicle into Fast Lane Automotive in Orlando, FL, if one or more of your tires fail the penny test. Call us at 321-214-7045 to set up an appointment.

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