Stay on Track to Your Destination With Regular Tire Maintenance

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – When the rubber meets the road this summer, will you be prepared? Summer heat can be tough on tires, which makes regular tire checks a critical part of your general vehicle maintenance schedule. Heat combined with improper tire pressure, uneven wear or damage and poor alignment can cause potentially dangerous driving conditions and put a damper on your summer road trip plans.
“Unfortunately, 83 percent of motorists aren’t aware of how under- or over-inflated tires affect a vehicle’s steering and breaking control as well as fuel economy,” explained Mark Ballard of Discount Tire, the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer. “In addition, regularly checking your tires for uneven or worn tread and bald spots, as well as replacing all four tires instead of one or two at a time, will help avoid hazards like blowouts and keep you on track to your destination.”
According to the Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (RMA), more than 23,000 tow-away crashes were due to flat tires.
Here are the top five tips to ensure proper tire safety:
1. Get Pressure Right. In its 2011 Tire Care Awareness Survey, the RMA found that 62 percent of drivers don’t know where to find the correct inflation pressure for their vehicle. The specific inflation pressure number can be found on the vehicle placard located on the driver’s side doorpost, glove box door or fuel door or in the owner’s manual. For accurate pressure, check tires when cool, and don’t forget the spare. A properly inflated tire will save you nine cents per gallon at the gas pump and improve vehicle fuel efficiency by 3.3 percent.
2. Don’t Overload Vehicle. Overloading decreases fuel economy due to increased wind drag and cargo weight. Handling, control and braking are also negatively impacted.
3. Rotate Before You Go. Regular rotation helps achieve uniform tire wear and improve road performance. Tires rotated every 6,000 — 8,000 miles prolong the life of the tire and help maximize your tire investment. It makes sense to get a tire inspection when you rotate.
4. Straighten Up. Proper tire alignment provides safe, predictable vehicle control as well as a ride that is smooth, comfortable and free of pulling or vibration. Proper alignment helps tires wear evenly and last longer.
5. Bald Isn’t Beautiful. The RMA survey also found that 52 percent of drivers do not know how to tell if their tires are bald. Lack of tread affects the tire’s ability to grip wet roads. Make sure tires don’t have uneven wear, high or low areas or unusually smooth areas that can increase the risk of road accidents.
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Don’t Let Holiday Pressure Get to Your Tires

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – The holidays are hectic. Working, attending family parties, overindulging on holiday goodies and shopping for that perfect gift can be stressful. Although the holidays are busy, they’re not the time to forget about regular tire maintenance.

Firestone Complete Auto Care recommends the following tire maintenance tips to help you and your family reduce stress and stay safer on the road this holiday season.

Don’t let the pressure overwhelm you. Tires can lose one pound of air pressure per square inch (psi) every month and one psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit temperature drop, so it’s important to check your tires, including your spare, monthly. Use an accurate tire gauge. To find out if your tires are properly inflated, locate the recommended tire inflation pressure listed on the sticker on your vehicle’s driver’s side door jamb or fuel filler lid, or in your glove box, trunk or owner’s manual.

Never overfill — the “Max Press” number shown on the sidewall of your tire should only be used if it is the recommended pressure listed in one of the previous locations. Make sure to check your tire pressure when the vehicle has been driven less than one mile or has been sitting for at least three hours.

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Your tires should have at least 2/32 inch of tread depth. To easily determine if your tires are due for replacement, insert a penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tread is worn, and the tire most likely needs to be replaced. If that’s the case, your next stop should be a trusted service center.

Live a balanced lifestyle. Uneven tread wear can signify a number of different problems, including over- or under-inflation, tires out of balance or wheels out of alignment. If your tread appears to be wearing unevenly, ask your service professional to take a look. Have your wheel alignment checked annually by an ASE-certified technician, and have your tires rotated every 5,000 miles or according to your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Proper wheel alignment, rotation and balance are important for correct vehicle handling, tire wear, braking stability and a smooth ride.