When it comes to road trips and traveling, we go through a personal checklist to ensure that nothing is being left behind. Yet we often forget to check what is arguably one of the most important things of all: our tires.
Many will just hop in the car and go on their way without so much of a second thought about whether or not the tires still sturdy, ready to perform. And this is where accidents can occur. When a tire blows out, the outcome is unpredictable. It puts the driver, passenger, and all others at risk.
So, to ensure preparedness for the next road trip, and the safety to others, as well as yourself, here’s a three-step checklist to help make sure that your tires are at peak performance.
Step No.1: Check Your Tire’s Condition
Look closely at your tires. Check the sidewalls for any major damage such as cracks, nails, or any other abnormalities that may have been the result of poor road conditions and potholes.
After a thorough inspection of the sidewalls, check the tread of each tire.
If the grooves seem shallow, then it may be time for new tires.
If the grooves are deep and pronounced, then the tires should be okay.
And if you’re uncertain about the condition of your tires, there’s an easy way to tell the current condition of your tread. Just grab a penny and place it into the groove. Lincoln’s head should be facing towards you, and upside down. If you can see Lincoln’s head, it’s time to get new tires.
In the case that takes your car to a local car service center, be sure that they rotate your tires. At most places, this is included, but it’s always good to double check.
Step No.2: Check Your Tire Pressure
Sometimes, it’s evident that a tire is low. You can look and clearly see that it’s low or going flat.
And sometimes simply apply some pressure to the tire will let you know whether or not it’s low on air or not.
If the tire is underinflated, it has the potential to blowout while driving long distances. They are also less fuel efficient.
The best thing that can be done, aside from these two tactics, is to check your tires with a gauge. This ensures the most accurate reading and allows you to inflate or deflate accordingly. The owner manual of your car should include the best pressure for your tire should be. This information might also be found inside the driver’s door jamb.
Don’t have time to go to a car service center? You can purchase gauges of your own for home use.
Step No.3: Check Your Tire’s Age
On the sidewall of your tires, there should be several numbers that will indicate how old the tire is. It can be tricky to understand what these numbers mean. But once you learn how to read them it’s really quite simple.
Most manufacturers recommend switching out tires after six years, regardless of their condition. This is just a means to be proactive and ensures the minimization of road hazards while traveling.
With this three-step checklist, your sure to be prepared for that next impromptu road trip to your relaxation destination.