As one of the most essential parts of your vehicle, it's important to keep an eye on your tires. Second to keeping an eye on tire pressure, checking up on your tire tread should be the most essential facet of your tire care routine.

To help drivers in Mechanicsburg, Harrisburg, and Carlisle, our team at Fred Beans Kia has put together this tire tread check-up guide. Let's get started by looking at why you need to check your tire tread regularly.

Why You Should Check Your Tire Tread

Like every other part of your vehicle, you should check up on your tire tread. This is important because having good tire tread is a matter of safety, especially when you're driving in moderate to extreme weather conditions.

Shallow tire tread can cause hydroplaning when it rains, slipping on ice, and drastically increased stopping times, which can all result in damage and injury.

How to Check Your Tire Tread

Luckily, checking your tire tread is one of the easiest acts of maintenance you can do for your vehicle. All you need to check your tire tread is a penny or a quarter.

To check your tire tread using a penny, you simply need to insert the penny into one of the tire tread grooves with Lincoln's head facing in towards the center of the tire. You'll do the same thing when checking your tire tread with a quarter. Be sure to select a groove in the middle of the tire first and test multiple grooves to get the most accurate reading.

What the Results of the Penny Test Mean

The results of each of the penny and quarters tests differ a bit. Below, you'll find approximate tread depths based on how much of Lincoln's head is showing when you do the penny test:

  • 10/32nds of an inch (the best) = a lot of Lincoln's head is covered
  • 8/32nds - 6/32nds (pretty good) = some of Lincoln's head is covered
  • 5/32nds - 4/32nds (still okay for a while) = a sliver of Lincoln's head is covered
  • Below 3/32nds (not good) = none of Lincoln's head is covered

Most regular tires have 10/32nds of an inch of tread when they're brand new. As they age, they'll wear down. If they get to around 4/32nds, it's time to start thinking about getting new tires soon. Anything below 3/32nds means you need tires as soon as you can get them on.

As for the quarter test, your tires are good if any part of Washington's head is covered. If none of Washington's head is covered, it's time to call your technician.

Ready for a New Set of Tires?

In this guide, you learned about the importance of checking your tire tread as well as how you can do it right from the comfort of your own driveway. We hope drivers in Mechanicsburg, Harrisburg, and Carlisle now have all the information they need to maintain their tire treads.

If you find that your treads are at an unsafe depth, don't hesitate to give us a call. We at Fred Beans Kia of Mechanicsburg would be happy to schedule you for a service appointment today!

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Fred Beans Kia of Mechanicsburg

6302 Carlisle Pike
Directions Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

  • Sales: 8554925922
  • Service: 717-766-4733
  • Parts: 717-766-4733


  • Monday 09:00AM - 08:00PM
  • Tuesday 09:00AM - 08:00PM
  • Wednesday 09:00AM - 08:00PM
  • Thursday 09:00AM - 08:00PM
  • Friday 09:00AM - 08:00PM
  • Saturday 09:00AM - 05:00PM
  • Sunday Closed