Trying to figure out when the right time to change your vehicle’s tires can be quite the dilemma.
You obviously don’t want to wait too long and drive around with a dangerously-low amount of tread but you don’t want to get them changed too early either since it can be an expensive undertaking.
Thankfully, there’s an extremely simple way to determine what stage of their life cycle your tires have reached.
The official recommendation from auto experts is that 1/16 of an inch is the minimum amount of tread you want to have on your tires for them to be safe. How do you measure this though?
The answer is simple – grab a penny!
Insert the copper coin into your tire’s tread with President Lincoln’s head facing towards you. If Honest Abe’s noggin is completely visible, that means it’s time for you to get some new tires.
Be sure you conduct this test on different sections of your tire. In the event that your vehicle’s alignment is off at all or if a regular rotation schedule hasn’t been followed, your tires will wear out unevenly and there could be bald spots on one or more tires.
If you’re a bit on the cautious side, you’ll probably want to change your tires out when their tread is between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch thick. If you get too close to the 1/16 limit, bad road/weather conditions could become tough to negotiate.
For checking this threshold, the process is equally as simple – grab a quarter! The gap between George Washington’s head and a quarter’s edge is 1/8 of an inch so if you can see all of our first president’s cranium in its entirety, the clock is ticking on your tires’ life cycle.
To get the most out of your tires, we recommend making sure they’re properly inflated all times, rotate regularly and stay on top of your alignment schedule. If you have any other questions about your vehicle’s health, be sure to get in touch with our ASE-certified technicians by calling 804-642-2440!