Do I Need New Tires?

Are my tires too worn? The Penny Test and other considerations

If you’re wondering if your tires are worn but don’t know how to check them yourself, the easiest way is to perform the penny test. The tread on your tires should be more than 2/32 of an inch deep. To check, insert a U.S. penny into the tread of your tires with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, there is at least a minimum acceptable amount of tread. If the top of his head is visible at any point, your tires are worn out and need to be replaced.

However, even before the tread is worn, tires should be regularly inspected for cuts, cracks, splits, punctures, bulges and uneven wear patterns. Uneven tread wear can include more wear on one tread edge than the other, a rippled pattern of high and low wear or even exposed steel wire within the tire. These are serious conditions that need to be checked by a tire professional, who can help you to determine if a new tire is needed.

Be sure to check the age of your tires too. Mastercraft recommends that all tires, including full-size spares, that are 10 or more years from their date of manufacture, be replaced with new tires. In some cases, a vehicle manufacturer may have a recommendation for tire replacement earlier than 10 years. If so, you should follow those vehicle manufacturer's recommendations for their vehicle.

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