Steamy, hot weather can be hard on your tires. The heat can affect inflation, performance and the handling of your vehicle. Bad tires can become a safety issue. It’s a good idea to inspect your tires before you set off on your summer road trip.
Tire Maintenance Checklist
1. Check tire inflation. Improper inflation can lead to a blowout and under-inflated tires can increase fuel consumption. The recommended tire pressure for your tires can be found in the owner’s manual or the side door jam. You should measure the pressure of your tires when it’s cold outside- you can measure them at home with a tire-pressure gauge or at a nearby gas station- you can release pressure with the needle in the center of the valve stem or add pressure with a tire pump-
2. Measure tire tread. When your tires make contact with the road correctly, they will perform better and are safer too. Tires should measure 4/32” or deeper for the best performance. If you find that the tread measure is at 3/32”, it’s time for tire replacement. You can test tire tread with a penny. Place a penny headfirst into the tread grooves across the tire. If you always see Lincoln’s head, your treads are shallow and worn and it’s time for new tires. If part of Lincoln’s head is always covered by the tread, you don’t need new tires yet.
3. Get a tire rotation. Your car tires should be rotated every 5000- 8000 miles to ensure even wear. Tire wear depends on the roads you travel on and the way you drive. Rotating your tires can be done at home if you have multiple jack stands and a well-equipped garage. If you notice alignment or balancing issues, you’ll need professional help.
4. Look for foreign objects. Inspecting your tires is a great way look for potential problems. Visually inspect each tire for nails or pointed rocks that are embedded in the tread. These can cause leaks that can have you on the side of the road. A tire patch kit in the glove box can help you make it to a service station.
5. Inspect spare tire. Check the spare for foreign objects and make sure it’s in tip top shape. If you need to use it needs to be ready. You do need to remember that the spare is not like one of the everyday tires. They are only constructed for limited use.
How Long Should Tires Last?
There are three things you need to consider when you’re deciding if you need new tires: tread wear, exposure to the elements and tire age. Tires with good treads grip the road better, making your car safer and prevent premature wear of other car parts. Heat and the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause structural damage to your tires. Tires are recommended to be replaced at six years regardless of tread wear and most manufactures recommend you replace your tires at 10 years.
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Take care of you tires for a hassle-free summer road trip. If you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, contact Citywide Towing Service for help!