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Car care and maintenance: six tips for teens

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2. Take care of your tires

Tire maintenance is particularly important for safe and fuel-efficient driving. Keep your tires properly inflated, and watch for tire wear. Driving on underinflated tires can shorten the life of your tires, increase tire wear, and lead to significant tire damage from heat, potholes, and other road hazards. Keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure can also improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent. Consult your owner's manual or tire sticker on the door jamb for manufacturer-recommended tire pressure settings. Get in the habit of examining your tires for wear and tear every time you stop for gas.

Did you know? You can check for tire wear with a penny. Hold it at the base between your thumb and forefinger so that you can see the top of President Lincoln’s head and the words “In God We Trust.” Place the top of Lincoln’s head into one of the grooves in your tire tread. If any part of Lincoln’s head is covered, you have a legal and safe amount of tire tread left. However, if there is any space above Lincoln’s head, or if you can see any part of the words “In God We Trust,” it’s time for new tires. Click here for more tire care tips.

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