Ten Steps to Keep Your Tires – and Your Family – Safe on the Roads This Summer

MCLEAN, Va., June 14 /PRNewswire/ — Before hitting the roads this summer, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) urges you to take a few minutes to check the condition of your tires. Well-maintained tires keep your car safer, help it last longer, and save you money, too.

These tips will help to keep your tires in good shape and your travels safe all summer long:

* Choose your tires carefully. Too many drivers buy a tire based on
initial price or appearance. Tire selection should be based on the
correct size recommended for the vehicle and its loading
recommendations. You should consult with a knowledgeable tire or
automobile dealer about selecting the proper tire for your typical
driving patterns.
* Buy a tire gauge and keep it handy in your car at all times. It will
inform you if you need to add more air to your tires. You can find them
at any automotive retailer or supply store.
* Check your tire pressure at least once per month, and especially before
a long trip. Remember underinflation is a tire’s number one enemy,
because it can cause damage that may lead to tire failure. However,
overinflation can cause uneven wear plus handling and stopping
problems. Use the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure listed on the
sticker of your vehicle’s door jamb or owner’s manual as a guide.
Always check the pressure of your tires when they are cool or cold.
Driving heats up tires and make the reading incorrect.
* During wet weather, slow down. As your speed decreases, the tire
footprint (the amount of the tire’s tread contacting the road surface)
increases, providing better traction. You also reduce the risk of
hydroplaning should you run into deeper water puddled on the road.
* Rotate your tires every 6,000 miles. If your tires show uneven wear,
ask your automotive service professional to check for and correct any
misalignment, imbalance or other mechanical problem involved before
rotation.
* Check your vehicle alignment periodically. It’s especially important
to have an automotive professional check your alignment if you notice
your vehicle is pulling to one side when you’re driving.
* Inspect and measure your tire tread. You can do this yourself by
placing a penny in the tread groove and if you can see the top of
Lincoln’s head, then it is time to replace your tires.
* Check the tire sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges
or other irregularities.
* Make sure you do not overload your vehicle because it can create
excessive heat inside your tires. An overloaded vehicle puts stress on
tires that can cause damage and lead to tire failure. Check the
manufacturer’s loading recommendation, which can be found on the
vehicle information placard on the door post or in the vehicle owners’
manual.
* Consider replacing your tires every six years, even if their treads are
not worn out. Some research has indicated that tires deteriorate as
they age and can experience tread separations and other failures,
though no firm scientific data on this exists to date.

NADA wants you to remember that by checking your tires regularly, you will keep your summer vacation drives safe, enjoyable and affordable.

The National Automobile Dealers Association, founded in 1917 and based in McLean, Virginia, represents more than 20,000 franchised new car and truck dealers holding nearly 43,000 separate franchises, domestic and international.

NADA is a member of the “Be Tire Smart – Play Your Part” national safety campaign, sponsored by the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

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