True or False: There are bacteria lining the roadways that eat up worn tire tread material.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jul 01, 1996

Dear Tom and Ray:

I saw one of your old columns in which you wondered what happened to all
the tread worn off tires. New Jersey was concerned about that some years
ago and determined that bacteria had developed along major freeways like
the New Jersey Turnpike that ate tire material! Right near the road there
was only a thin coating of tread material. Nature wins again.

-- Yours truly, Stuart A. Hoenig, P.E., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Dept.
of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Adjunct Professor Dept. of
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, University of Arizona

TOM: Gee, Stuart, is that true? We've heard of bacteria that eat oil and
help clean up oil spills, but we haven't heard of this one yet. Has anybody
else out there?

RAY: Even if it's not true, I can already see the next "bio-thriller" in
the works: "The Bacteria That Ate Akron." Call Jeff Goldblum and see if
he's available.

TOM: Is warming up your car actually BAD for it? Does slamming the door
really make a difference to the life of your car? Should you "save the
brakes" by shifting into a lower gear to help you slow down?

RAY: You'll learn the surprising answers to all of these questions, and
more, in our new pamphlet called "Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car
Without Even Knowing It.'

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