The scorching summer months in the southwest can turn any perfectly paved roadway into a heat street with potentially dangerous results for you and the only part of your vehicle that touches the road. Heat related tire blow-outs and flats are the cause of more than 11,000 crashes per year, a number the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says can be reduced if drivers properly care for the tires on their vehicles.
Taking cues from the NHTSA, Here are some simple maintenance measures that can go a long way to protect your safety and those sharing the road with you.
Check air pressure when tires are not hot. Let your car sit for at least 3 hours out of the sun, in the early morning if you don’t have a shaded parking area or when the car has been driven less than a mile. Keep it inflated to the recommendations for the car listed in the manual.
Tires should be replaced when less than 1/16th of tread is left. Remember that front tires of a front-wheel-drive vehicle will wear more quickly than those on the rear axle.
Remove foreign objects imbedded in the tire. Glass, gravel and other debris can work deeper in to the tread and cause a flat. But, if you find a nail or other sharp object stuck in your tire, have a professional remove it and seal the puncture.
Valve and rim
Each valve stem should have a cap to keep out moisture and dirt and to keep the valve core from being accidentally depressed, thus leaking air. Also check valve stems for cuts and scrapes which could cause leaks. Check the rim for dents and rust which can lead to leaks or blowouts.
Spare tire and tools
Be sure the spare is properly inflated. The temporary tire should not be used at speeds of more than 50 miles per hour and its tread life is only about 3,000 miles. Be sure all the parts for your jack are in place and you know how to use them.
Keeping your tires in good shape can be good for your wallet too. Proper tire maintenance can increase gas mileage and decrease wear and tear to your tires and car. If you need to purchase new tires, some of our GarageFly shops sell them. A look through shop detail pages can let you know if a shop near you offers this service.