Abraham Lincoln and Tire Tread

Customers look at me strangely when I tell them they can use the Abraham Lincoln method to test their tire tread.  Actually we are talking about using a penny.  Place the penny within the tire’s grooves and channels.  Insert the penny so that Abraham Lincoln’s head faces downward. If the tire tread hides his face, your tires don’t need to be replaced.  If you can see all of Abe’s face, it is time to replace your tires!

Keeping tires properly inflated increases their service life.  Under-inflated tires lose tread around the outside edges.  Over-inflated tires loose tread near the center.  Your car care provider should rotate the tires every six months to help prevent tread wear. 

Also, properly inflated tires will save you more than a penny; improper inflation can cause a loss of 1-3% of your fuel economy. Many cars have tire monitoring systems to ensure correct pressure, please don’t ignore them.

When it is time to buy new tires, make sure they match the specs listed on the car’s placard that can be found in the glove box, the gas filler door, on a car door edge or on a visor.  All four tires need to be the correct size, all the same size; all have the same construction and speed rating.  All four tires need to be balanced and aligned.  Last note on tires: shop smart and ask questions. Less expensive tires can also cost MPG, so explore all your tire brand options.

Your car care provider will keep an eye on your tires, most times for free, and know exactly which tires are best for your vehicle when it is time to replace them.


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