New tire close-up on tread

How do I know if I should change my tires?

The Easy Trick for Knowing When to Get New Tires

There’s probably many of you out there are that are thinking, “Just use a penny.” We’re debunking that right now. A penny won’t work.

If the penny trick doesn’t work, how do I know if I should change my tires?


Need New Tires?


The Quarter Trick for Tire Tread

Mechanic putting new tire on vehicle

Insert a quarter into one vertical grooves in your tire, with Washington going in headfirst. If you can see above Washington’s forehead, you should get new tires soon; if you can see his entire head, you need new tires. That’s it. It’s that simple. Many people might use this trick, but with a penny. A penny does not work. The difference between this trick with a quarter and a penny is 1/16 of an inch. That 1/16 of inch can be the difference between legally declaring your vehicle safe to drive. For instance, if your tires were okay by the penny trick, but not the quarter trick, and you got into an accident that involved loss of control, you could legally be declared at fault. That’s a huge deal, especially when it comes to insurance.

Tread Depth and What it Means

A brand-new tire is at or close to its maximum traction when it’s new, with all of its tread intact. As you drive on those tires, they slowly wear down due to friction. As the tires wear down, they then produce less friction. Anyone that has ever worn flat-bottom shoes on ice and winter boots on ice understands why tread matters. More weight on less surface area (i.e. more tread) equals better traction.

Need Your Tires Inspected?

While the quarter trick is great for figuring out if you have low tread, it doesn’t help with other tire issues. For example, a car that drives choppy probably has tire issues not related to traditional tire wear. Here at Arlington Toyota in Palatine, IL, we can take care of your tire issues. Schedule an inspection today if you think you may have tire problems. And don’t forget to check out our service specials to make sure your getting the best deals on service.