You Can Use A Blank To Test Tread Wear On Your Tires

What is the penny test?

Of course, an actual gauge is a far more accurate tread wear indicator. But if you don’t have a tire tread depth gauge, you can use a standard penny. Use the coin as you would the gauge probe, placing Lincoln’s head upside down in the shallowest groove. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you have less than 2/32 of an inch of tread depth left. Turn the penny around and place the Lincoln Memorial upside down. If you can see all of the memorial, you have 6/32 of an inch or more tread depth left.

How to keep your fleet in check with Motive’s safety platform

Accurately measuring tire tread depth and pressure while regularly rotating tires has a positive impact on commercial fleet operations. So does monitoring alignment. Monitoring your driver’s aggressive and risky practices can also help with overall tire health and optimizing vehicle performance.

With the tools to minimize hard braking, hard cornering, and hard acceleration, you can reduce excessive wear on tire treads as well. Motive’s vehicle diagnostic solution is just one part of our fleet safety solution. Proactively monitor driving behavior to detect issues and identify drivers who could benefit from coaching or more training. Learn more today about how the Motive Fleet Dashboard helps you stay on top of vehicle health and prolong the life of commercial vehicle tires.

You Can Use a Blank to Test Tread Wear on your Tires

Tires are important. They’re the only thing between you and the road, after all. And if your tires aren’t up to snuff, there’s no way you can avoid problems—and we all know how dangerous it is to drive with bad tires.

That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on your tire tread and make sure it’s healthy. But how do you know when your tires need replacing? Here are some quick ways to test tread wear:

What is tread wear?

Tread wear is a measure of how much material remains on the tire’s tread. It is measured in millimeters, and it is expressed as a percentage of the original tread depth.

Why should you care about tread wear?

The reason you should know about tread wear is because it can impact your car’s handling, braking ability, and fuel economy. Tires with less than 2/32nds of an inch of remaining tread are at risk for hydroplaning in wet conditions, which means they will lose traction and may cause a loss of control of your vehicle.

In addition to that, tires with less than 4/32nds of an inch of remaining tread may cause brake squeal or reduced braking effectiveness on dry roads. This means that if your tires have less than 4/32nds of an inch of remaining tread, they may not be able to stop your vehicle as quickly as newer tires would be able to do so—or at all!

Tread wear is an important part of tire maintenance. If you don’t have enough tread on your tires, you can end up with dangerous road conditions. The tread wear test is used to determine the amount of tread that’s left on your tires and whether or not it’s time for new ones.

In this article, we’ll give you some tips for performing your own tread wear test at home.

Tires are a critical part of your vehicle, and keeping them in good shape is key to safe driving. But how do you know if your tires need to be replaced?

You can use a blank to test tread wear on your tires. This will help you determine when it’s time for new tires and prevent accidents from occurring due to poor tire quality.

Tired of not knowing how much tread your tires have left?

When it comes to tires, tread wear is one of the most important things you need to pay attention to.

That’s why we’ve put together this blog post to help you understand how tread wear works and how you can test your own tire tread wear.

Tire tread wear is a common indicator of whether your tires are performing to their full potential, and it’s something you should be checking regularly.

A tire’s tread is the part of the tire that actually touches the road, and it’s made up of several different grooves and patterns. When these grooves fill up with debris or dirt, they can’t grip as well on wet or icy roads, which can lead to decreased traction—and thus an increased risk of accidents.

Tire treads are measured in millimeters (mm), with a minimum of 2mm required to legally drive on public roads in most states. In addition to tread depth, there is also information about what type of material was used for each groove. For example, some tires have grooves made from sipes (small slits) rather than blocks; this type of pattern has been shown to increase traction and reduce rolling resistance by up to 10%.


One of the first maintenance tricks that many car owners learn is the penny test. However, many individuals do not know how to properly test their tires using a penny or what the results mean.

Tread depth is an important factor in tire function. If your tires do not have enough tread, they cannot properly grip the road. This deficiency can make your car handle poorly and create a safety hazard. In this blog, we discuss how and when the penny test should be used, as well as how you should respond to the results.

The Penny Test

The penny test is fairly simple, but many drivers do not feel confident in completing the test or interpreting the results. To test your treads, turn the penny upside down with Lincoln’s head facing you.

Insert the coin into your tire treads until the top of the coin touches the rubber at the bottom of the groove. On a tire with adequate tread, the top of Lincoln’s head will disappear. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, the tread has worn down too low.

What many individuals do not know is that the penny test may not reflect all legal requirements for tread depth. In fact, by the time you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your treads have worn low enough that your tires are in violation of safety laws and in need of immediate replacement.

This fact makes the penny test an unreliable assessment that may encourage drivers to continue operating a car with dangerously worn out tires.

Instead, you may want to adopt the quarter test as outlined below.

The Quarter Test

On a penny, the space between the top of Lincoln’s head and the outside edge of the coin measures 2/32 of an inch, which is also the absolute minimum measurement of tire treads on most tire types.

On the quarter, however, the space between the top of Washington’s head and the edge of the coin measures 4/32 of an inch.

You complete the quarter test the same as the penny test. Simply hold the coin upside down with Washington’s face on the side of the coin you’re looking at. Insert the coin into the tire tread to measure. If Washington’s head is partially obscured by the tire, you have adequate tread for safe driving, even in wet conditions.

If Washington’s head is fully visible, it’s time to start shopping for new tires. Ideally, you should replace your tires while the treads fail the quarter test but still pass the penny test so you don’t spend any time driving on dangerously worn out treads.

Testing Accuracy

As with any other automotive test or maintenance you perform yourself, you want to ensure that your tread test results are accurate. Always follow these guidelines to properly test tire tread:

  • Check that your tires are inflated properly before testing the tread. Tire pressure factors heavily into vehicle handling and can, in some cases, change the depth reading of tire treads. Improper tire pressure also contributes to uneven tire wear, shortening the overall lifespan of your tires.
  • Complete the quarter or penny test at least once yearly, preferably before you start to experience cold and wet fall weather. If you live in a climate with precipitation throughout the year, check at least twice a year before the two rainiest seasons. Find new tires if you need them before the rain hits because inadequate tread contributes to the risk of hydroplaning.
  • Insert the coin fully, without allowing it to roll to either side. If you can’t remember how to measure properly or want to check your results, measure using an official tire tread depth gauge instead of a coin.
  • Test the portion of your tire that looks the most worn down first. If that section fails, the entire tire fails the test. Test multiple spots on the tire to ensure that you don’t miss a worn-out patch.

In addition to testing your tread once or twice annually, pay attention to the way your vehicle handles. You may want to visually inspect your tires when you hit a pothole, when you suspect you’ve driven over a sharp object, when you notice a tire pressure alert, or when you notice a change in how your car turns and stops.

If you notice drastically different results from different sections of your tires, you may have an alignment or rotation issue that needs to be diagnosed and addressed by a reputable mechanic.

Check your tread depth regularly so you can plan ahead and get new tires right when you need them. To learn more about maintaining your tires, including other ways to detect tread wear as it happens, read our blog “Tire Wear and Care.”

Is it time to start looking for new tires? Need a second opinion from an expert to determine whether or not your current tread is accurate? Find high-quality and cost-effective tires that provide your car with its best handling from Evans Tire and Service Centers.

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