Myth : The Penny Test

2.32nds

Check out how worn this tire is, even though it’s at the top of Lincoln’s head. That’s why we need to bring George onto the team.

You know the rule – stick a penny into the tread of your tire headfirst and as long as it touches the top of Abe’s head you’re cool. While Abraham Lincoln preserved the Union, he’s not looking out for your safety (sorry about that). You see the top of Abe’s head is 2/32″ (tire tread is measured in 32nds of an inch) and 2/32″ is the legal limit just about everywhere. So what Abe is telling you is to get thee to a tire shop.

A better test is George Washington, which is perfect as we all know he’s incapable of telling a lie. The measurement to the top of George’s head is 4/32″ and a much better gauge of when you should start shopping for tires. There’s also a safety issue involved. A tire with 2/32″ is much more likely to hydroplane than a tire with 4/32″.

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