This is the time of year when brutally hot asphalt can be merciless on tires. Anyone who's experienced a blowout can tell you this: It's a dangerous and scary ordeal! Take steps to protect yourself--and your tires. Here are a few common sense tips:
*Check tire pressure. Check tire pressure on all of your tires (including the spare) at least once a month. Buy a tire pressure gauge (available at tire dealerships, auto supply stores, and other retail outlets) and keep it in your vehicle at all times. You can find the recommended tire pressure on the sidewall of the tire, in the owner's manual, or on tire placard labels located inside the vehicle's door edge, glove-box door, or inside the trunk lid. Many newer models automatically notify you from the console if pressure on one of your tires is low. Keep adequate tire pressure at all times!
*On the flip side, don't over-inflate your tires! A bloated tire on the highway is an accident waiting to happen!
*Always check tire pressure before going on long trips.
*Do not overload your vehicle. Check the tire information placard inside the vehicle door or the owner's manual for the maximum recommended load for your vehicle.
*Make sure your tire valves have valve caps.
*If you're about to go over a pothole, or other objects, slow down.
*When parking, don't let your tire rest against the curb.
*The Lincoln penny. You can check the tread wear of your tires by using a Lincoln penny. Simply turn the penny so Lincoln's head is upside down and insert it into the tread. If the tread doesn't cover Lincoln's head, it's time to replace your tires.
*Always inspect your tires for uneven tread wear, cracks, or other signs of wear or trauma. Remove any foreign objects wedged in the tread.
Summer vacations should be fun for the entire family. Don't endanger the experience by traveling on unsafe tires!