Traveling has become a way of life for many Filipino families and the road trip is definitely a great way for everyone to enjoy some much-needed bonding time. But with the onset of the rainy season, the frequent showers can put a damper on a family road trip, especially for the person behind the wheel. Slippery roads can also take a toll on your tires so the designated driver has to be extra careful during the drive.
However, don’t let the gloomy weather stop you from taking a road trip with your family. Here’s a simple safety checklist for your tires from Goodyear that will help ensure that your road trip will be both smooth and safe:
1. Check your tire pressure: Make it a habit to check your tire pressure regularly (every 2-4 weeks) as proper tire inflation can make driving a lot safer and it provides tire longevity and fuel efficiency. Even in ideal conditions, tires lose pressure at a rate of about 0.69 bar or 1 pound per square inch (psi) per month. That rate increases as temperatures rise. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s tire pressure recommendation that can be found in the vehicle owner’s manual or check the inflation sticker that is located in the driver’s area specifically at the door jamb.
Here’s how to check your pressure – first, buy a pressure gauge or use one at your nearest tire service center. Check first thing in the morning or whenever your tires are cool, they heat up as you drive, which can affect your reading. Unscrew the valve on the tire and place the gauge over it. A brief hissing sound is normal. Read your tire’s recommended bar/psi and compare it with the pressure on the gauge. You may then adjust your pressure with a home compressor, or fill the tires at a tire service center. Re-check your pressure with the gauge and check against the manufacturer’s specifications. Don’t forget to replace the valve caps on each tire.
2. Rotate your tires: Ensure that your tires wear evenly by having them rotated every 10,000 to 12,000 km, or every six months. Rotating your tires helps achieve uniform wear across the full set. Even wear can help extend the life of your tires and obtain balanced handling and traction. You may want to consider regular tire rotation as basic tire maintenance at the nearest Goodyear service centers of your neighborhood.
3. Check your tire treads: Your tire is the only contact between the vehicle and the road and the tire’s tread is what lets it grip the road and help prevent your vehicle from losing traction, especially on wet roads. A tire has grooves that help channel water out from below it when the road is wet. This helps you maintain control of your vehicle when it rains. But a tire’s tread gradually wears away over time, and grooves can’t channel water away as effectively when they wear down.
One way to check tread depth is to look at the tread wear indicator or TWI bar that’s molded into your tires. The bars are located at the bottom of the tread grooves in several locations around the tire. When these bars become even with the adjacent treads of the tire, this is anindication that the tire should be replaced. Inspect your tires at least once a month, as well as before and after long journeys. It also helps to select tires with treads designed for rainy weather such as the Goodyear Wrangler TripleMax tires. Designed for mid-size SUVs, the tread and cavity on the new Wrangler TripleMax ensures better braking and grip on wet and dry roads for a safer driving experience.
4. Do not overload your vehicle: The tire’s load rating, or “max load,” indicates the tire’s maximum load-carrying capacity. You can find the tire load information on the tire sidewall or in the vehicle owner’s manual. Tires which are loaded beyond their maximum load-carrying capacity can build up excessive heat, which could result in tire failure or can even destroy your tire. So, follow the load information and instructions of the vehicle manufacturer.
5. Tire replacement: Regular inspection and maintenance of your tires will help prolong their lifespan, but all tires will wear out eventually. Tire life varies. It depends on your driving habits, the climate you live in and how well you maintain your tires. All tires wear out or become damaged and will eventually need replacing. When replacing the tires, it is best to replace the tire valves as well. Tire valves are made of rubber too and they deteriorate over time due to heat, and contact to harmful chemicals like petroleum. Replacing the tire valves whenever you change tires helps maintain air pressure and it’s a cheaper way to have tires achieve longer life. Lastly it’s important to note to check the status and quality for the spare tire before engaging in long trips. By inflating the spare tire to the correct pressure, it can be handy replacement especially when you have a flat tire on a road trip. So be sure to drop by a Goodyear service center near you to find tire replacements suitable to your vehicle and expert tire advice about wear and tire pressure.
So whether you’re driving a short distance or across the country, taking the time to ensure that your vehicle is in proper working condition can give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your next adventure! For more safety tire tips and information, log on to www.goodyear.com.ph.