At one point or another, we all are guilty of not doing basic tire safety checks before a long ride. For an old car, the risks may be higher but that doesn’t mean we do away with doing these tire safety tips for the newer wheels. Accidents happen and statistics will tell us that those who failed to run safety tire checks before going on a long ride are usually the ones who get into trouble. Sometimes it’s just a flat tire but there are times it costs more than we can imagine and I’m pretty sure you will agree that making sure your tires are good is far more important than having the right playlist ready to blast out of your speakers. Here are some of the things to consider before stepping on the gas.
Recommended Tire Pressure Tire pressure is perhaps what an average car guy usually checks before heading for a long ride. One can easily spot if a tire is busted or punctured but to know if a tire is still within the recommended tire pressure is difficult unless you use a psi gauge. Under pressure tires can cause tire damage and affect fuel economy. If your tires have correct psi you save fuel as your car performs faster. So, get a psi gauge and remember to check your tires when it’s cold which means you haven’t driven your car for at least 3 hours.
Don’t Overload Overloading put tons of strain on your tires. When on a long ride it can cause overheat or worst a dangerous blowout.
Tire Tread Perhaps the easiest way to tell if a tire is still roadworthy is its tread. A bald tire isn’t only out of wack but scary. There’s a simple trick though on how to tell if your tread is still up for the road. You can use a tread depth gauge, or check by inserting a penny into each tread groove and tires should have more than 2/32-inch tread depth. If it’s less than that, call your local tire dealer for a replacement. You should also watch out for uneven tread on either the inner or outer edge of your tire. One cause of uneven tire wear is when you fail to periodically do wheel rotation which leads us to our next to-do list. Wheel Rotation This is the process of moving your tires from different positions to ensure that all tires wear evenly and last longer. Vehicle manufacturers recommend a certain number of miles otherwise, every 5,000 miles is a common practice. Wheel Alignment It is very important to make sure wheels are properly aligned. This method means the adjustment of the suspension components holding the wheels. Uneven tire tread, steering wheel vibration, the vehicle pulling over to either side are just a few of the telltale signs you need wheel alignment. Spare Tire Though most of us carry a spare tire, we often forget to inspect its tire pressure, age, or other obvious physical issues. Sometimes even if a spare tire is rarely used, because of age it may need to be replaced.