(NewsUSA) – Tires may not be the first thing you notice when you look at a car, but they may be the most important safety and performance element of any vehicle. When you think about it, they are the only part of your car that connects you to the road.
While brakes stop your wheels, it’s your tires that stop the car — and that’s why maintaining them is absolutely critical. Luckily, one of the most important tire checks won’t cost you more than a penny!
Once a month, or before heading on a long road trip, check your tires for wear and damage using “the penny test.” Just grab a penny and select a point on your tire where tread appears the lowest. Then, holding Lincoln’s body between your thumb and your forefinger, place Lincoln’s head into one of the grooves. If any part of Abe Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you’re driving with the legal and safe amount of tread.
However, if all of Lincoln’s head is visible, it’s a sign that it is time to get new tires.
“Traction and tread are inextricably linked. The grooves in your tire are critical in helping to channel water away to allow the tire to grip the road,” says Sarah Robinson, Michelin safety expert. “Making sure you’re driving on tires with proper tread can be the difference between avoiding an accident, and becoming part of it.”
If it’s time to get new tires, consider these two factors first and foremost:
1. Safety: Most tires perform well in everyday situations, but difficult conditions will reveal their differences. Choose tires that can perform well in the worst types of weather or roads you encounter. For example, if you live in a region with regular heavy snowfall and cold winters, consider winter tires for part of the year. The difference can be huge.
2. Value: It’s important to remember that not all tires are created equal. Tires may seem like an additional expense on top of general car maintenance, but investing in quality tires known for long-lasting performance–such as the Michelin Defender with its 80,000 mile warranty–will save you money over time as your tires won’t need to be replaced as quickly.
For more information, visit www.MichelinMan.com
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