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”?
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’s 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.
Summer car washes are about as American as Apple Pie. You know how to get started—a couple buckets for washing/rinsing, draw the hose out, maybe blast some tunes from the boom box. After that, you wash, rinse, and presto: you’re done. However, some conventional practices in car washed may actually be hurting your vehicle. Here’s a list from your local Omaha Auto Mechanic of the do’s and don’ts of car washing:
DON’T wait for your vehicle to accumulate a ton of dust, grime, and droppings before you wash it. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you’re able to write “Wash Me” on any windows of your vehicle, then you’ve waited too long for a wash. Your local Omaha Mechanic recommends you wash your vehicle at least once every two weeks.
DO use a new, clean sponge when washing your care. However, it’s important to not rotate this sponge in a circular motion, as it will create very subtle, but still noticeable scratches called “swirl marks.” Your local Omaha Tires shop suggests moving the sponge in a horizontal fashion across the vehicle, as this will minimize soap marks. BONUS: If you should drop your sponge in the dirt, try taking a few extra moments to rinse it out in your bucket of water. Nothing can create unsightly scratches more than stray sand and dirt can!
DON’T use household cleaning products such as dish washing detergent, glass cleaner, or hand soap! These sorts of cleaners can strip the protective layer of wax over the paint, leading to unsightly marks and scratches! Your local Omaha NE Tires shop suggests buying car wash detergent, which is specially formulated for a milder wash on vehicles.
DO wash your car in a cool area. This means parking your car in the shade, or even waiting for the sun to go down before starting the wash. Reason being, when the surface of your vehicle is warm, it will dry faster, leaving some less-than-desirable water marks. Your local Omaha Small Engine Repair shop knows you don’t want that after a good car wash!
DON’T air dry your vehicle. Remember those water marks we talked about above? Yeah, you don’t want those. Your local Omaha Auto Repair center suggests picking up son soft terry towels to wipe off the excess moisture.
Remember, this is just barely scratching the surface having to do with car-washing tips. For more tips, stop by a local Omaha NE Auto Repair shop like Auto Station today!