Here's How to Do the Penny Tire Test & Quarter Tire Test

Most Subaru owners will agree: your tires are a pretty important part of your car. Having good tire tread is what keeps you and your family safe on the road. With good tire treads, your vehicle will be able to handle weather conditions like rain and snow much better. And, overall wear and tear on your car will be minimal (at least from your tires!).

So, how do you know if you need a new set of tires on your Subaru? A tread depth gauge is the best tool—but not always readily available. If you don’t stash a tread depth gauge in your back pocket (don’t worry, most people don’t!), then a penny or quarter will do. Here’s how.

What is and how to do the Penny Tire Test?

The Penny Tire Test is an easy way to use your loose change to check your tire tread in a pinch. How do you do it? Grab a penny and point President Lincoln’s head down towards the ground. Insert the penny into the grooves on your tire tread. Check to see where Lincoln’s head is now. Is it hidden by your tire tread? Your tires are good to go. If all of Lincoln’s head is visible, your treads are too shallow. It might be time for tire replacement.

Quarter Tire Test

What’s the Quarter Tire Test?

Don’t have a penny? Grab a quarter. You’ll test the tire tread in the exact same way: face Washington down and insert the coin into your tire tread. The distance from the edge of the quarter to the top of Washington’s head should be about 4/32″. If the tire is worn enough that it doesn’t touch Washington’s head, it’s time to replace it.

Which Tire Test Reigns Supreme?

For the longest time, the Penny Tire Test was the go-to for car experts…but there’s a little problem with it. Pennies only measure 2/32”, meaning it really only tells you if your tires are completely worn. By this point, you’ll need to change your tires ASAP (and your safety is already compromised!). The Quarter Tire Test gives you a little more wiggle room—so why risk it? The next time you’re looking to test your tire tread, grab a quarter instead!

Suburb Service: Your Subaru Tire Experts Near Seattle, WA

Keeping your car maintained in the is so important—and that includes your tires! Need help with tire maintenance? Ready for a new set of tires on your Subaru? We’re always here to help. Suburb Service offers excellent maintenance and repair service to Subaru owners in and around the Seattle area. To schedule a maintenance appointment or to schedule a repair service, contact us at 206-364-8089 or fill out our online appointment request form. Show your Subaru some love.

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