Sacramento and Elk Grove Auto Repair

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Do Your Tires Pass the Penny Test?

One trick that many vehicle owners know is the penny test. This test is a great way to gauge your tread depth and help you determine whether you need new tires.

Tread depth is extremely important when it comes to your tires. If they do not have enough tread, your tires cannot properly grip the road. This poor traction can lead to improper handling and present many hazards. It is required by law to replace your tires before they hit 2/32 inches.

How to Do the Penny Test

The penny test is straightforward, but many drivers do not feel confident when interpreting the results. 

  1. First, you will need to turn the penny upside down with Lincoln's head facing you.
  2. Place the penny into your tire treads until the tip of the coin makes contact with the tire groove. If you can no longer see Lincoln's head, it means you have sufficient tread. If you can see some or all of his head, your tire tread is low, and you need new tires ASAP.

It would be best to measure your tread once or twice every year, even if it is done with a penny. Furthermore, you should pay close attention to your vehicle handling to know when to replace your tires.


Checking your tread depth often can help you plan ahead and budget for a new set of tires. Besides measuring tread depth, you should also get tire rotations, wheel balancing, and tire alignments to ensure your tires last a long time.


If your tires failed the penny test and you're looking for new tires in Sacramento, CA, look no further than Prestige Auto Works. Our tire experts can help you find the right set of tires for your vehicle make and model. You'll only find high-quality and cost-effective at our Sacramento auto service shop, so please call or visit us today!

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