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Auto Station, Auto Repair & Service, Omaha, NE
iATN - International Automotive Technicians' Network

Did you know that you officially need to replace your tires when the tread is below 2/32” thick? And did you know that the distance between the edge of a penny and the top of Lincoln’s head is exactly 2/32”?

Convenient, right?

Whether you’ve put extra miles on your tires with summer road trips or they are simply nearing the end of their life, this quick test will let you know if it is time to consider new tires.

Most tires have “wear bars” that run across the tread pattern. When these become visible, connecting patterns across your tire’s tread, they serve as a warning that your tread is getting bare. But not all tires are designed the same, and sometimes you just need an extra test to know with confidence that it is time to replace your tires.

So for a quick tread check, grab a penny! Place the penny, with Lincoln’spenny head down and facing you, into the tread of the tire.

If all or part of Lincoln’s head is obscured by the tread, your tires still have some life left – but if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tire.

Note: Measure each tire in multiple places – both the inside and outside edge across the tire, and on multiple points around the tire. If your alignment is off, or if you have neglected tire rotation, they may have uneven wear. This also can cause bald spots that mean you need to replace your tires prematurely.

If you don’t have a penny handy, a quarter can also do the trick! The distance between Washington’s head and the edge of a quarter is exactly 4/32” (which also happens to be the recommended thickness for tire tread if you are driving in rain, snow, or icy conditions).

Use the same method, placing the quarter with Washington’s head upside down and facing you in the tread across multiple places on your tire. Whenyou can see all of Washington’s head, you know you will need to replace your tires soon.

You may consider replacing your tires before they reach the 2/32” point. As your tread thins between 4/32” and 2/32” you may start to experience performance issues, especially in wet and slick conditions.


The good news? There are easy steps you can take to extend the life of your tires! Keep your tires properly inflated to reduce extra friction and wear. Rotate your tires regularly to ensure they wear uniformly without creating bald spots.  Have an alignment performed periodically. Treat your tires with care – following these recommended maintenance tips can help them wear evenly so you get more miles out of every dollar! Stop by or schedule an appointment for a tire rotation, alignment, or inspection.

For everyday drivers commuting to work, school, or anywhere in between, there’s no telling what you’ll encounter on the roads in Omaha. But by keeping your tires and wheels aligned, you’ll get better gas mileage, turn easier, and have a safer drive in general.

Suspension connects your vehicle to its wheels and provides a smooth, safe ride over uneven streets. Parts of your vehicle’s suspension can bend over time as a result of collisions with curbs, potholes, or just wear in general. When these parts change shape, your wheels may become misaligned and cause your car pull to one side or the other. This also causes your tires to wear quickly and unevenly.

Camber is the angle of the wheel (measured in degrees) when viewed from the front of the vehicle. When a pair of wheels has their leading edges pointed slightly towards each other, the wheel pair is considered to have a “toe-in” or a negative camber. If the top of the wheels are leaning out from the center of the car, then the camber is “toe-out” or positive. Excessive camber angles may not be noticeable when driving, but it can wear out tires unevenly, reduce cornering performance, and effect gas mileage.

Misaligned wheels cause tires to “scrub” or skid along the road at odd angles, decreasing their lifespan. Your car uses more energy when turning misaligned wheels, which results in wasted fuel. Safety also becomes an issue, as misaligned wheels tend to impact the handling of the car.

Your vehicle’s suspension has many adjustable components that allow our ASE-Certified mechanics, the finest in Omaha, to adjust the wheel’s camber. When you bring your vehicle to our shop for an alignment, your technician uses special equipment to make sure the wheels are straight so you can react properly to the road.

As an auto repair shop, we recommend you have an alignment once a year. If you notice that you have to constantly fight the steering wheel to keep the car straight, stop by or call us right away at (402) 896-5800 to have your alignment corrected!

When you finally buy a new set of tires that perfectly match your vehicle and lifestyle, you may end up spending a little more than you originally intended. But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. And with such an important investment like your tires, maintaining them won’t just improve your safety, but save you money as well. Here are some helpful tips from your Omaha Tires shop to help you get the most out of your tires:


A good set of tires will have deep tread, and will have been balanced at a reputable shop like Auto Station for high-speed handling. If you feel your tires jumping all over the road when you drive, they probably need to be re-balanced. A good Omaha Tires shop like Auto Station can do this for you.


You’ll improve gas mileage, have better steering, and give your tread a longer life by keeping your tires properly inflated. Your owner’s manual or an ASE-Certified tech at an Omaha Tires shop can advise you as to what PSI to keep your tires at.


To avoid irregular wear on the inside or outside of your tires, it’s imperative to have you tires re-aligned every other scheduled maintenance visit. By implementing a preventive maintenance plan with your local Omaha Tires shop like Auto Station, your ASE-Certified technician can help you coordinate tire maintenance.

A Good Spare

As vehicle owners, we’ve probably all been inconvenienced at some point with a flat tire. Just remember next time you’re on the side of the road changing a flat that half the battle is having a reliable spare. A good preventive maintenance plan at an Omaha Tires shop will always make sure your spare is ready to go.

If you have any questions about your tires or think you might be ready for a new set, go ahead and stop by or give Auto Station a call at (402) 896-5800!