Before hitting the road this winter, take a few minutes to check the condition of your tires. Well-maintained tires keep your car safer, help it last longer and save you money at the gas pump, too.
These tips will help to keep your tires in good shape and your travels safe this winter.
- First, inspect your tires. You should be doing this regularly. Inspect and measure your tire tread. You can do this yourself or go to your mechanic while doing your seasonal tire change.
- Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities.
- Choose your tires carefully. Tire selection should be based on the correct size recommended for the vehicle and its loading recommendations. Consult with a knowledgeable tire or automobile dealer about selecting the proper tire for your typical driving patterns.
- Buy a tire gauge and keep it handy in your car at all times. It will inform you if you need to add more air to your tires.
- Check your tire pressure at least once per month, and especially before a long trip. Underinflation can cause damage that may lead to tire failure. And overinflation can cause uneven wear plus handling and stopping problems. Use the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure as a guide.
- During wet weather, slow down. As your speed decreases, the tire footprint (the amount of the tire’s tread contacting the road surface) increases, providing better traction.
- Rotate your tires every 6,000 miles. If your tires show uneven wear, ask your mechanic to check for and correct any misalignment, imbalance or other mechanical problem involved before rotation.
- Check your vehicle alignment periodically. Have an automotive professional check your alignment if you notice your vehicle is pulling to one side.
- Don’t overload your vehicle as it can create excessive heat inside your tires.
- Have your tire balance checked periodically. An unbalanced tire and wheel assembly may result in irregular wear.
Remember, by checking your tires regularly, you can keep your vacation drives safe, enjoyable and affordable.