Americans love road trips. That is no secret. Ever since the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways was constructed in the late 1950s, people all over the country can take to the roads and get to any part of the continental United States. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than one third of all people in the country take at least one road trip every year that takes them 50 miles from their home. Tire companies recommend that people take the following steps to care for their tires before they set out on an adventure on the road.
- Check the pressure. Before you head out on the road, one of the best things you can do for your tires is check their pressure. Most of the time, people load up their cars with all of their luggage. That puts a lot more weight on the tires. It can be very dangerous to drive under any circumstances when the tires are not inflated properly. Tire companies remind their customers that driving when the tired are not inflated to the specifications can cause a lot of damage to the tires. If you do not know what the right pressure is for your tires, you should check your user’s manual to check. It is important to only check your tires when they have been sitting for a while and they are cool. When tires are not inflated enough, the result can be irregular wear, increased stress and accidents. You may not notice your tire is losing air until it has lost more than 50%.
- Check the tread. What you need to do is dig up a penny. Take that penny and stick President Lincoln’s head into the groove. You should lose the top of his head in your tire. That will be the case if your tire’s tread is at the recommended 2/32 inch depth. If you can still see the top of his head when you have put it in the tread, the tire is too worn out. You will have to replace the tire before you head out on your trip.
- Have your tires rotated before you take your trip. Most tire companies recommend following the specifications from the tire manufacturer or every 7,500 miles. Doing this as recommended will help you make sure you wear your tires evenly and have fewer problems when you are out on the road. Tires are better able to perform the way they are intended to when they are rotated regularly.
- Give your tires a total inspection. Before you depart on your trip, you should take a good look at the state of your tires. You want to make sure there are no bruises, splits, cuts or cracks in the sidewall or on the treats. If you notice any irregularities such as bulges or bumps, that might indicate a problem. If you see any of this, you should take your car to a professional tire company for inspection and either repair or replacement. That is the safest thing you can do.
- Do not overload your car. All vehicles have a limit on the amount of weight they can safely handle. This should be something that you can learn from your owner’s manual. All tires have a similar weight load restriction. Tire companies will put that on the sidewall of the tires. It is important that you pay attention to these limits. They are there to keep you safe and should be followed. If you overload your car, it will make it harder to handle your car. Another issue is that when you weigh down your car, even if you do not go over the limit, it will cost more to fun the car. The heavier a vehicle is, the less gas mileage it will get.
It has been estimated that the United States economy loses $2 billion every year because people do not take the proper care of their cars and trucks. Whether you have new or used tires it is important to make sure they are up to he job of taking you where you want to go before you take your road trip.