Tips For Tire Maintenance – Be Travel Ready!
Your car can meet all the top safety specifications and being highly rated, but if you are driving on unfit tires, your safety is at risk. Your tires are where the rubber meets the road (literally) and carries your most precious cargo from Point A to Point B, whether that is just to the grocery store or on a cross-country road trip. Make sure your tires are in good condition to arrive at every destination safely. Here are some tire maintenance tips to be aware of:
Watch out for the Heat
Tires get hot from normal use, never mind adding in the summer sun beating on the roads. Tires are susceptible to overheating from being overloaded with weight, under inflated, over inflated or by driving too fast. Check the pressure on all of your tires regularly, and especially before a long trip. To get a true pressure reading, make sure the tires are the same temperature as where you are parked, and the car has been parked for at least three hours. Then check the pressure, and inflate as needed.
Keep your Spare Ready
This is easier said than done, and what a spare tire actually is in newer cases varies. With a traditional spare tire, it is recommended to check it each time you check your tires. This can be difficult depending on the location of the spare tire, but it is worth making sure it is ready incase you every really need it! Many newer vehicles have run-flat tires with sidewalls strong enough to drive on till you can make it to a gas station or safety to get your tire replaced. Other vehicles now come with tire sealant kits for a quick, temporary fix. These newer options will most likely get you to a safe place to get a new tire, but really can’t be driven at any length like a spare tire can be.
Watch the Weight
When you are packing your car or truck for either a trip or a move, how do you decide how much to take at one time? Usually it is as much as will fit in the car, but that shouldn’t be the case. The amount that you pack into your vehicle should be based on the weight capacity of your tires, which should be listed on the information you have in your car’s manual or information your tires came with.
Have Treads, Will Travel!
Treads help your tires grip the road, giving you a safe, stable ride, even in bad weather or road conditions. When your treads get worn down, either evenly or unevenly, it effects the way your car will perform. This can lead to hydroplaning, slipping on wet leaves, or a variety of other unforeseen road hazards. When a tread depth is 2/32 inch or less, that is when a tire is worn out. Many tires have tread-wear bars at the bottom of major treads, and it will appear even with the groove, this will also tell you the treads are worn and it is time for new tires.