Tire Safety: Your Road to Security

Everything on the road hinges on your tires. Protection against unnecessary breakdowns and accidents. Enhanced vehicle control. Improved fuel efficiency. Extended tire lifespan. These are just a few compelling reasons why dedicating a mere five minutes each month to inspect your tires is essential. Utilize the convenient checklist below for guidance and flip over for additional tire safety insights.

Safety Checklist

✔ Regularly check tire pressure, including the spare, at least once a month.

✔ Examine tires for uneven wear patterns on the tread, cracks, foreign objects, or any indications of wear or damage. Remove debris, such as glass or foreign objects, lodged in the tread.

✔ Ensure your tire valves are equipped with valve caps.

✔ Before embarking on a lengthy journey, verify tire pressure.

✔ Do not overload your vehicle. Refer to the tire information placard or owner’s manual for the recommended maximum load capacity of the vehicle.

✔ When towing a trailer, remember that some of the loaded trailer’s weight is transferred to the towing vehicle.

Safety Tips

  • Reduce speed when navigating potholes or obstacles on the road.
  • Avoid running over curbs, and take care not to strike curbs when parking.

Safety in Numbers

Recommended tire pressure and vehicle load limits can be found on the tire information placard and in the vehicle owner’s manual. Tire placards are permanent labels affixed to the vehicle’s door edge, doorpost, glove-box door, or inside the trunk lid. Once you’ve located this information, use it to verify your tire pressure and ensure your vehicle isn’t carrying an excessive load.

Checking Tire Pressure

Since tires may naturally lose air over time, it’s crucial to check your tire pressure at least once a month. For convenience, consider purchasing a tire pressure gauge to keep in your vehicle, available at tire dealerships, auto supply stores, and various retail outlets. Remember that the tire inflation figure provided by vehicle manufacturers pertains to the proper pounds per square inch (psi) when the tire is cold. To obtain an accurate tire pressure reading, measure tire pressure when the vehicle has been inactive for at least three hours.

Step 1: Locate the correct tire pressure figure on the tire information placard or in the owner’s manual.

Step 2: Record the tire pressure of all four tires.

Step 3: If the tire pressure exceeds the recommended level in any tire, gradually release air by gently pressing the tire valve with the edge of your tire gauge until the proper pressure is achieved.

Step 4: If the tire pressure falls below the recommended level, note the variance between the measured tire pressure and the specified level. These “missing” pounds of pressure are what you’ll need to add.

Step 5: Visit a service station to add the required pounds of air pressure to each underinflated tire.

Step 6: Verify that all tires now have the same air pressure, except in cases where the front and rear tires are intended to have different pressure levels.

Checking Tire Tread

Tires incorporate built-in treadwear indicators that signal when it’s time to replace them. These indicators consist of raised sections sporadically situated within the tread grooves. When these indicators align with the outer surface of the tread, it’s an indication that tire replacement is necessary. Alternatively, you can perform a simple tread check using a Lincoln penny. Place the penny upside down in the tread; if the tread doesn’t conceal Lincoln’s head, it’s time to consider new tires.

By Staff writer