There comes a time that all our tires need changing. So how do you know if you need new tires?
Do I Need New Tires?
There are a few things you can do. There’s the penny test, manufacture’s recommendation, a tread depth gauge, with the tread wear indicators, or by a professional.
The penny test might be the easiest one to perform. You take a penny and flip it so that Abraham Lincoln’s head is upside down and facing you. Hold the penny between your thumb and forefinger, then place the penny into one of the grooves.
If you can see Lincoln’s entire head that means that the tire needs to be changed. If a part of Lincoln’s head is still hidden, then your tires are fine. The treads are shallow and greatly reduces the grip of the tire on the road during dangerous weather.
All tires should come with a manufacture’s recommendation on when to change them. A rule of them is that after five years, they should be inspected properly by a professional every year after. After 10 years since their manufacturing, they should be replaced regardless. It’s important to maintain safety on the road for yourself and others.
Tread Depth Gauge
If for some reason you don’t have a penny lying around to perform the penny test, you can use a tread depth gauge. This gauge does the same job as a penny. Tire Rack has a nice step-by-step on how to use one.
Tread Wear Indicators
There are indicators that are molded into your tires. These are bars that are located at the bottom of the tread grooves in several locations around the tire. When these bars become visibly flush with the adjacent ribs, the tire has no more than 2/32″ of tread remaining. This is the quickest and visible indication that the tire is worn out and should be replaced.