Healthy Tires Equal a Safe Ride
As the weather heats up, so does the summer travel season. With so many people hitting the road, your tires will also be feeling the heat as well. Before you hit the road it is important to make sure your vehicle's tires are properly inflated, there are no cuts or bulges in the sidewalls and there is a sufficient tread on the tire, especially if you're planning a long trip. The following checklist provides a guideline to help you safely get where you need to go.
Tire Safety Checklist
Check your vehicle's tire pressure regularly, including the spare tire. This is a good routine to start, and it is especially important if you are taking a long trip by car.
Inspect tires for uneven tread wear, cracks or signs of wear. Here's a tip to measure your tread wear: place a penny in the tread with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head on the penny you are in need of new tires.
Rotate your tires regularly, approximately every 6,000 miles. If your tires show uneven wear, have an automotive service professional to check for misalignment, imbalance or other mechanical problems before rotation and have them correct it.
Take precautions when towing. Make sure you do not overload your vehicle. Check the tire information or owner's manual for the maximum recommended load for the vehicle. Remember that some weight of the trailer is handled by the towing vehicle.
Choosing the correct tire for your vehicle
Tires are designed for specific applications, such as snow and rain, performance (both on and off road) as well as all-year/year-round driving. Where these tires differ is by the types and designs of treads and the composition of the tire itself. There are benefits and drawbacks for various tire designs, so it's important to make sure you understand the differences to get the correct ones for your vehicle or designed for the type of driving you plan to do, whether driving on snow or ice, wet road conditions, off-road or in extreme summer heat. A knowledgeable tire or automotive dealer can provide information to help in the selection of the proper tire for your vehicle and take into account your typical driving patterns or needs.
Keep your travels safe, enjoyable and affordable
Properly maintained tires improve the steering, stopping, traction, and load-carrying capability of your vehicle. Under inflated tires and overloaded vehicles are a major cause of tire failure. An added bonus of properly maintained and inflated tires is increased miles per gallon. Bottom line: to help avoid flat tires or other types of tire failure, maintain proper tire pressure, observe the manufacturer's tire and vehicle load limits and regularly inspect your tires. You'll gain peace of mind and be able to identify problems before it's too late.
Sources: NHTSA.gov; NADA.org; consumerreports.org; dmv.org