Have your next epic road trip planned? Have your luggage ready? Snacks?
Although there are lots of things to get done before leaving on your trip, taking time to make sure your car’s tires can make the trip is wise. You can avoid the hassle, money, and headaches of tire trouble by getting your vehicle ready ahead of time. Having a tire blowout or some other problem with your tires can be a serious inconvenience when traveling far away from home and on a schedule.
In particular, hot weather and long distance travel at higher speeds can lead to your tires heating up, which can make any present tire issues worse. These tips will help ensure your tires are in the best shape to help you arrive safely at your destination.
Check the Tire Pressure:
Hopefully, checking your tire pressure is something that you are doing monthly. This simple check is especially important to check before you leave for a long trip. Correct tire pressure not only goes a long way in prolonging the use of your tires, but it also helps with fuel efficiency. Especially with high gas prices, increased fuel efficiency could surely help keep the fuel cost down.
The best time to check the pressure in your tires is after they have had a chance to cool down–or about three hours after your vehicle has been driven. You can locate the desired tire pressure on the lid of the gas tank, in the vehicle’s manual, or on the edge of the door on the driver’s side. Keep in mind that tire pressure will be the same on each axle but may be different from front to rear. After checking your tire pressure, be sure to close valve caps tightly to keep out dirt and prevent any leaks.
Keep a Spare Tire On Hand:
It is always a good idea to keep a spare tire in your vehicle. Before you leave for a trip, however, you should take some time to inspect the spare tire to be certain it has optimal tire pressure, and that it hasn’t any other problems. If you have had the same spare tire for a very long period, you may need to get it replaced.
Check the Tread:
Shallow and uneven wear depth on your tires can impact your grip on the road and can make your drive more dangerous. Check your tires to see if there is uneven wear, large smooth areas, or other signs of damage.
While you’re at it, you can also check the tire sidewalls for bulges, cuts, or any other irregular problems. If you’re not sure if you have appropriate tread depth, you can check using a penny. Place a penny upside down inside a tread groove. If you can see the entirety of Abraham Lincoln’s head then it is time to get new tires.
Get Your Tires Rotated:
It can be a good idea to take your vehicle into your Sugar House auto repair to have your tires rotated before a long road trip. Tires should be rotated about every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, or according to the owner’s manual. Regular tire rotations will help your tires achieve more consistent wear across your tires surfaces, and as a result, will help them last longer. When you take your vehicle in for a rotation you can ask the shop to take a look at any other concerns you have about your tires.
Get Your Tires Aligned Properly:
Collisions with curbs or potholes can cause your tires to jolt out of alignment with each other. This can cause uneven tread wear and create a pulling sensation to one side while driving. If you experience this feeling, you should get it checked out with your auto shop before leaving on a big trip. It may be good to get your alignment checked out regardless of how your vehicle drives, since misalignment can happen gradually.
Even though traveling light is not everyone’s preferred travel style, overloading a vehicle can add general pressure to your vehicle’s parts, as well as shorten the life of your tires. It can also reduce fuel economy. Take a look at the owner’s manual to see what your vehicle’s maximum weight carrying capacities are and avoid over-packing in your car this year.
Be sure to avoid road hazards, such as potholes, during your road trip. Although it may be tempting to drive carelessly over the long hours, especially on long stretches of lonely road, keep an eye on potential road hazards, and take care to avoid driving too fast. This will help keep your tires in good shape and help them carry you safely to your destination.
Before you leave for the summer road trip, get your tires checked in Utah at any of your local Burt Brothers tire shops from Farmington to West Jordan.
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