Tires in a car shop

How to Do the Quarter Test on a Tire

How to Check if You Need to Replace Your Tires

The last thing you want is to be unable to stop due to low tread on your tires. While this is widely known among drivers that tires need to be replaced eventually, not everyone knows how to check their tread. Thankfully, checking it is easy, and you don’t have to see a mechanic to find out if your tires are worn. Here at Broadway Credit, we will walk you through how to do the quarter test on a tire.

[ READ MORE: When Should I Get a Tire Rotation? ]

Quarter Test

Upside down quarter in the tread of a tire

Over time, the tread on tires wear out, slowly getting shorter and shorter. Just using your eyes won’t enough to know if your tires are safe to drive, unless your tires are starting to bald. However, with just a quarter, you’ll know if you need new tires in a matter of minutes.

With the quarter, face the president’s head towards you. Place it into the tread with the head facing down. If you cannot see the top of the president’s head, that means you have at least 1/8-inch worth of tread still, which is a good sign. If you are able to see the top of the head, it’s time to get new tires as you are either equal or less than 1/8 of an inch. Repeat this for each of your tires and note which ones will need replacing if you don’t plan on replacing all four.

Age of the Tires

Close up of a car tire with cracks

Perhaps your tread looks good, but you don’t drive your vehicle very often. While you may still have plenty of tread, you need to be mindful of the age of your tires. Experts recommend replacing tires no later than five years. Why is this? Imagine an old rubber band. The older the rubber band, the more easily it will break. Tires are also made of rubber, which means that they will lose elasticity and form cracks over time. Sometimes these cracks are on the outside where you can see them, while other times they are on the inside and hidden. When you drive with these old tires, the rubber may snap, creating a very dangerous scenario on the road as you could lose control of your vehicle.

We highly recommend that you keep your receipts when buying tires. This way, you know exactly when they were purchased and how old they are. After all, doing so can help keep you and other drivers safe.

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