One of the busiest travel holidays of the year is just ahead and a study finds many Iowans will be driving to their Thanksgiving destinations on bad tires. Dan Zielinski, spokesman for the Rubber Manufacturers Association, says before heading down the road, Iowans should do the “penny test” on all four tires.
“You take the penny and turn it upside-down so Lincoln’s head is pointed down toward the ground, then you put that penny into a tread groove,” Zielinski says. “If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head when you put it in that groove, you need a new tire.”
Triple-A predicts nearly 44-million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, with 90-percent of the travelers going by motor vehicle. He says it’s vital to do an inspection of your car well before you have to leave.
“We conducted a survey where we looked at more than 6,000 vehicles,” Zielinski says. “We found 13% of them have at least one bald tire. Nationwide, that’s about 33-million vehicles.” Also, that’s a three-percent increase from last year. In addition to being checked for wear, tires also need to be checked for proper inflation.
“For every 10-degree drop in temperature, your tires will lose about 1 PSI of air,” Zielinski says. “Especially through these months as we get colder and colder, you’re going to see the tire pressure drop and you might see the tire pressure warning light come on, but that only comes on when the pressure falls by 25%. By that time, you’re already wasting a lot of gas and you’re driving on significantly underinflated tires which can affect safety.”
Check the tire pressure at least once a month.