Summer often means hitting the road and seeing some of the beautiful countryside across our great nation. Last year, we were able to visit all 10 west coast US States! We are planning a road trip again for this summer and I’m hoping to make it to Mt. Rushmore this year!
It’s always exciting to get on the road and off on a vacation, but before you start your travels, consider that your tires impact how well your car can stop. It is really important to be sure your tires are ready to go before your trip. Take a look at these summer tire safety tips so you will be prepared to care for your vehicle during your trip, no matter where your travels may take you.
I received a complimentary Michelin kit for this post. All opinions are my own.
Tire Safety Tips & FAQ’s
Your tires need maintenance more often than you might think to be sure your vehicle is operating safely. Keep in mind, you should check your tire pressure and tread depth monthly. You should also be sure to have your tires rotated every 7,000 miles or 6 months to extend their life and keep the tread and wear balanced. Below will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about caring for our tires.
These Tire Safety Tips below are from Michelin and National Tire Safety Week to keep you safe on the road this summer. They are experts in their industry, so you know you can rely on the answers to these important questions below.
Can I rely on my car’s tire pressure alerts?
By the time your tire looks flat or your tire pressure warning light comes on, your tire pressure is typically lower than 25% of the manufacturer’s recommended psi. Driving on underinflated tires can be dangerous, which is why it’s so important to check your tire pressure monthly.
Compare the tire’s psi with the manufacturer’s recommended psi, which can be found in your owner’s manual or on the sticker inside of your driver’s side door jam. If pressure is low, add air until it reaches the proper pressure.
How much air do your tires need?
Compare the measured psi to the psi found on the sticker inside the driver’s door of your vehicle or in owner’s manual. DO NOT compare to the psi on your tire’s sidewall.
Remember that ambient temperature has an impact on your tire pressure, as does the sun. For every 10 degrees the thermometer goes up or down, your tires lose or gain 1 psi (pounds per square inch). Even if the temperature is consistent, tires have been known to lose up to 1 psi every month, so check all tires, including your spare, once a month (or before a long trip).
How do you check tire tread depth?
Tread depth is absolutely critical to stopping. If your tread gets below 2/32 of an inch, your car’s ability to grip the road in adverse conditions is greatly reduced. Once every month, or before you set off on longer road trips, check your tires for wear and damage problems.
One easy way to check for wear is by using the penny test. All you have to do is grab a penny and select a point on your tire where tread appears the lowest. Then place Lincoln’s head into one of the grooves. If any part of Abe Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you’re driving with the legal amount of tread. If not, it’s time to get new tires.
When do I need to replace my tires?
Tires don’t last forever. The two main reasons one may buy new tires are tire wear and tire damage. (For information on how to diagnose an issue with your tires, click here.) Another reason is if you choose to upsize your tires, which some drivers do for improved traction and cosmetics. Some drivers also require (or prefer) seasonal tires and need to change them to match the season.
What if I only replace two tires?
41% of female purchasers buy only two tires at a time. If you can only replace two tires, always replace the back tires first. Whether you have front-wheel, all-wheel or rear-wheel drive, the back two tires are most critical for keeping the car in control and avoiding fishtailing.