A Penny for Luck and a Tire Tread Test

Whether a penny brings you luck is up for debate, but it can tell you when you need new tires. You can purchase a tool to measure your tire tread at your local auto parts store, but why do that when you have a penny in your pocket that can do the same thing? Abraham Lincoln’s head is the ruler and Mark’s Auto Service explains how to do the penny test below. Ready for a quick and easy test? Here we go!

Park Your Vehicle in the Driveway

Pull your car, truck, or SUV out of the garage and into the driveway. Park it, set the emergency brake, and turn off the engine. If your driveway is sloped, puts rocks or bricks against each wheel just in case your emergency brake were to fail and your vehicle were to roll. You’ll have your hands and arms behind the tires, so you don’t want to risk severe injury. Place the rocks or bricks in the front or back of your tires depending on the direction your driveway slopes. In other words, if your vehicle were to roll forward, put the rocks in front of the tires; if backward, put the rocks behind the tires.

Grab a Penny

Grab a shiny, new penny so you can see President Lincoln’s head clearly. With the head side facing you and the top of the head facing the tire, insert the penny between the tire tread rows in several different places on each tire. You’ll want to check all around the tire to make sure your tire tread isn’t wearing down unevenly. If it is, your tires might not be inflated to the proper psi or you might have wheel alignment and/or balance trouble. It could also be a manufacturer’s defect on the tire or tires.

A tire with plenty of tread will cover President Lincoln’s head; a bald tire will not. That’s your measurement and, yes, it really is that easy. If you can’t see all of Honest Abe’s head, you still have some tread left on your tires. If Honest Abe’s head is showing in all of its splendor and glory, it’s time to give the tire shop a call and schedule an appointment for a new tire or set of tires, depending on the reading you get from each tire. If you prefer, you can use a quarter for the tire tread test, as well.

Mark’s Auto Service has shops in Loves Park, Belvidere, Roscoe, and Rockford, IL, and Loves Park, IL. Call us at either shop for your automotive service needs. 


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