According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, underinflated tires contribute to more than 600 fatalities and 33,000 injuries each year. Simply checking your tire pressure can help you stay safe during your next trip.
To get the most from your tires, here are some maintenance tips from the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer—Discount Tire:
• Get pressure right—Low tire pressure can decrease fuel economy. Tires may lose up to one pound per square inch per month. The specific inflation pressure number can be found on the vehicle placard located on the driver’s side doorpost, glove box door, fuel door or in the owner’s manual. Custom tires and wheels may change standard air pressure requirements, so if you customize, have a pro check them out before you go.
• Don’t overload vehicle—Overloading decreases fuel economy due to increased wind drag and cargo weight. Handling, control and braking are also negatively impacted.
• Rotate before you go—Regular rotation helps achieve uniform tire wear and improves road performance. Tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles have longer life and help to maximize your tire investment.
• Straighten up—Proper wheel alignment provides safe, predictable vehicle control and helps tires wear evenly and last longer.
• Bald isn’t beautiful—Lack of tread affects the tire’s ability to grip the road. Make sure tires don’t have uneven wear, high or low spots or unusually smooth areas that can decrease traction and increase the risk of road accidents.
A five-minute fix
Checking tire pressure and tread is easy and can pay dividends when it comes to fuel economy and handling. Don’t go by appearances. Use a tire gauge to check since a tire can be 50 percent underinflated but still not appear flat.
Make it a habit to check tire pressure every month and always before a long trip. Use the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure.
Additionally, check tire tread depth by using the “penny test.” Insert Abe Lincoln’s head upside down into the tread. If you see his entire head, it’s time to replace the tire.
To learn more about tire safety, visit www.discounttire.com. North American Precis Syndicate Inc.