SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Do you know when it's time to change your tires or what air pressure is best for them? If not, you could be putting yourself at the mercy of shady mechanics looking to take advantage of you. We tell you how asking questions and Abe Lincoln can keep your wallet from deflating when you're facing tire troubles.
Right across the street from a Pep Boys in San Antonio, Texas sits a shop called Treds Tire and Wheel.
If it wasn't for the fingernail polish and polka dot tools you'd never know this is not your typical tire shop.
Margaret Rodriguez's daughter Andrea came up with the idea, and while most people have positive reactions, "We had one man actually leave," Margaret said.
But Andrea says women feel comfortable coming here.
"They'd rather not have, you know, a man saying ‘oh you need your tire balanced' because they're not sure if they can trust them," said Andrea, who manages Treds Tire and Wheel.
If you want to know if you really need new tires, honest Abe can help test your treads.
"You get your penny, you flip him upside down and you stick him between the tread. If the top of his head is showing then you have to replace your tire," explained Andrea.
The right tire pressure can make your tires last longer, save fuel, and prevent accidents, but Andrea says what's recommended on the sidewall might not be ideal for your car.
"If you have any questions about the tire pressure for the spare, the rear, or the front, the answer is right here," said Andrea as she to a sticker placed on the inside of the driver's car door.
Make sure to question potential problems you can't see. Like if you're told your tire has a leak, ask to see the leak then ask to see the repair.
"I've had this lady who's actually come in and said that she had a patch done to her tire," Andrea said. "I took the tire off and there was no patch in that tire at all."
If mechanics make you feel uncomfortable, you're not alone. A study by the Car Care Council found nine out of 10 women believe they are treated differently than men at auto repair shops.
Copyright 2013 by Ivanhoe Broadcast News and News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.