Are Your Tire Treads Getting Too Low? Posted on Apr 18 2017

It’s just not a good idea to be driving around on bald tires. You lose traction around corners, and it can also hinder your ability to stop the car. Did you know the stopping distance for an average-weight vehicle is much higher with bald tires compared to new ones? Seriously, imagine you are driving 70 MPH on the freeway and have to hit you brakes for an emergency stop (which happens a lot in Southern California). A car with good tire treads will be able to stop much quicker than one with bald or worn tires. And if the road is wet, it gets even more dangerous.

Are Your Tire Treads Getting Too Low?

The Penny Test

So how do you measure your tire treads? Just check your pockets for some loose change. Some people recommend a penny. Others say a quarter is better. Either one will give you a decent idea of your remaining tire tread.

Insert a penny with Lincoln’s head facing down in between the treads of your tires. If there is any space between the top of his head and the top of the tread (which is only about 1/16 inch), your tires are dangerously low and should be replaced immediately. If Lincoln’s head is slightly covered up by the tread, you may seek a second opinion from General Washington. Take the quarter and insert it into the tread in the same fashion. If there is any space between Washington’s head and the tread (roughly 1/8 inch), your tires are still heavily worn. They aren’t completely bald yet, but it is still cause for concern.

Don’t Forget to Check Each Tire!

It is important to run the penny and/or quarter test on all four tires. You might find that the treads are very uneven, which is also something you’ll want to address. It can be a sign of poor wheel alignment or you could also just be due for a tire rotation. Tire rotations are recommended every 5,000-6,000 miles to keep the tread wear even on your vehicle.

If you have bald, heavily worn or uneven tire treads, bring your car into Bill’s Quality Auto Care in the heart of Simi Valley. We can help you out with all your tire repair, replacement and maintenance needs. Whether it’s a simple tire rotation, a wheel alignment check or installing all new tires, we’ll make sure you are taken care of. Call us today at (805) 520-7818 or schedule your appointment online.

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