Tire Safety

Tires Wear Faster in Hot Weather

ATV Tires and AccessoriesDo tires wear faster in hot weather? Sergio, who works at Sergio’s Automotive in Thousand Palms, explains. “Because tires are made of rubber and what people don’t normally see is the air in the tire actually expands more when the temperature rises. And on the asphalt on the freeway it’s a little hotter than normal because you’re getting all those cars going by all the time. Friction from contact with a hot road surface and friction within the tire produces even more heat.” The air inside the tire will rise and this increases the tire pressure inside the tire.

Tires Wear Faster in Hot Weather

In addition rubber becomes more soft and pliable as temperatures rise and friction increases the temperature of the rubber even more. Soft rubber on hot asphalt is a perfect place for tires to wear fast! Winter tires are made of softer rubber than summer tires so if you have winter tires on your car in the summer tire they will wear even faster than the normal summer tire. Once the snow is gone, if you live in areas where you get a lot of snow, it is time to install summer time tires. Low tire pressure will also increase the friction and help a rubber tire wear even faster.

So how do you check your tread to see if it’s too low?

Tires Wear Faster in Hot Weather – If you feel that your tires have worn down too much due to use and summer time friction, check your tires before they get too bald. “The best idea if you don’t have any kind of tool is to always put an Abe Lincoln, a penny. And if it’s above the Abe Lincoln head you’re alright. Once it’s below usually that’s where it is when you need to change your tires. Sometimes there’s indicator wear marks on the tire themselves. This is a warning that your tires tread is getting thin and it is time to change your tires.”

Always purchase tires that are the right size for your car. Most people will just check the side wall of their existing tires and replace them with the same tire. However your tire dealer can look up your car, make and model to see what range of tires are suitable for your vehicle. It is important to install the right kind of tires with the proper speed and load rating for your vehicle to maintain stability at low and high speeds.

Improper tire size can cause accidents due to instability when turning corners or curves at high speed or even changing lanes on the highway. Improper tire size can also contribute to your tires wearing faster than normal. You really are not getting your mileage out of the tire that you are supposed to.

Vehicle Inspection at Maintenance Time

Tires Wear Faster in Hot Weather – One of the best times to check your tires is when you have the oil changed. If your tires are worn down due to mileage or high temperatures, your oil change technician will usually point this out. Many oil change shops now will do an inspection of all fluids, check the tire pressure and note if your tire tread is getting thin. They will let you know if your tires should be changed. If they fail to point this out, ask them to check for you specifically and give some advice regarding your tires.

Make sure that your tires are at the proper tire pressure and have the correct amount of tread. This will not only ensure that your tires are safe to drive on at all normal speeds, they will also ensure that you get the best possible gas mileage as well. With the cost of gas these days it is important to make sure that everything is working properly on your car. So that you get the best possible gas mileage. This includes your tires.


Tire Pressure and Safety

tire pressure and safetyIt has long been known by most of us that proper tire inflation can save on fuel costs. Many people, however, do not realize that proper tire inflation not only prolongs the life of the tire, thus saving on replacement costs, but also impacts on the wear and tear experienced by various parts of the steering assembly itself. Additionally, Tire Pressure and Safety are directly related. Proper tire inflation simply improves  driving control by reducing the amount of corrections and control required from the driver. Proper tire pressure can actually avoid car accidents and save you a great deal of money and frustration.

Tire Pressure and Safety

Regular Tire Inspections

Safety is also impacted when proper tire inflation is combined with regular inspections and other appropriate tire care steps because there is less chance of unexpected tire failure in dangerous highway driving and other traffic situations.

So, all year round, increased safety and fuel economy can rest on something as simple as regularly inspecting your tires visually and maintaining proper tire inflation pressure. It is also a good idea to make note somewhere of when tires are purchased, including both date AND mileage. Many of us tend to let such bits of info slide into the background as we drive at top speed with our loved ones on tires which may be nearing the end of their effective, safe lives.

Check also when tires were manufactured. Any tire older than 7 years should be suspect and not only checked regularly, but also replaced as soon as they show signs of deterioration. Some tires are sold as new, when they are already 5 or 6 years old so check with the dealer before they are installed.

Check Tires Before Seasonal Changes in Weather

Due to weather changes and road conditions in various areas, additional checks, maintenance, and operations may be called for.

Winter presents unique challenges in some areas and in almost all areas from time to time. Cars may become stuck in snow, roads may become icy, and vehicles may slip and slide at exactly the worst time possible. Winter is NOT a time that you want a tire to fail, so the usual inspections and maintenance become even more important. Properly inflated tires can help maintain traction as well as aiding in regaining control in skids and slides. If stuck in snow, by the way, try to avoid spinning your tires. This can cause overheating of the tire and may possibly contribute to a future failure of the tire.

Avoid Potholes

After Winter has done its damage to drivers in many parts of the country, a new phenomenon may appear in abundance. Many new potholes happen due to a cycle of freezing and thawing of water under the roadway. Potholes can be tire killers at any time of the year, but, because of this cycle, there seems to be more of them after Winter has passed. Often, the damage a pothole inflicts on a tire is invisible, although the damage to the steering may become immediately evident due to the “pulling” of the vehicle to one side or the other, or vibration which wasn’t present before.

Obviously, avoiding potholes completely is the best way to protect your tires against damage. However, as we all know, this is not always possible. Here is a tip on how to hit a pothole with minimum damage to your tires. First and foremost, do NOT brake during the impact itself! This creates a solid impact at a given point and will produce the most damage. Instead, brake as much as it is safely possible up to just before impact and release the brakes in time to roll across the pothole. This will result in a rolling contact which produces less damage in most cases.

Proper Tire Inflation

When deciding on proper inflation pressures, your car manufacturer will usually provide the recommended pressures in the owner’s manual and also on a data plate commonly located on the door frame, in the glove compartment, or under the hood. However, aftermarket tires purchased later may require different inflation pressures. In this case, it is good to check with the tire dealer on what would be the best inflation pressures.

Tire Rotation

Last, but not least, a word on tire rotation. Obviously, not all tires are going to experience the same wear at the same time. For this reason, it is usually considered a good idea to periodically rotate tires. Your best bet in most instances is to simply go with the car manufacturer’s recommendations, but a rule of thumb might be to rotate tires every 6,000 miles on most cars, and every 4,000 miles on cars with 4-wheel drive.

In these days of high fuel costs, and with the possibility of even higher costs in the future, this is a simple way to improve fuel economy. When you consider that you can also prolong the safe and effective life of your tires as well, you will not only be putting more money in your own pocket but will be helping reduce the power needed to produce more new tires and help reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil as well.


Is Your Vehicle Ready for Summer Vacation

Is Your Vehicle Ready for Summer VacationSummer is just around the corner. Many people are planning their summer driving trips to the cottage, to theme parks , to camping sites and visits to the family. The summer time is harder on tires than other time of the year. This is due to the higher temperatures and often heavier loads due to more people and luggage in their cars. Is Your Vehicle Ready for summer vacation travel?

Is Your Vehicle Ready – Check Your Car Before Travel

Before you go on any trip with your car and also on a weekly basis, have your car fully checked out to avoid any nasty surprises. Tires are the most important element of your car. check for proper tire pressure and that the tire lug nuts are on tight. Also check that there is sufficient tread on the tires to be safe in all kinds of conditions. However we also recommend that you check

  • All Fluid levels including
    • Power steering,
    • Engine oil,
    • Transmission oil and
    • Brake fluid levels
    • Antifreeze in the radiator
  • Check the windshield cleaner
  • Check your tires inflation levels
  • Check your cars alignment
  • Check your tires balance

Follow your cars instructions for checking all of these items in a safe manner or take your car to an auto mechanic or your dealer for a complete checkup.

Tire Pressure

Have your mechanic check your tires next time you go in for an oil change. If one is not due, it is easy to check the tire pressure yourself with a tire pressure gauge. Top up the air pressure to the vehicle specs if you find that the tires have low tire pressure.

If your car has a tire pressure monitor on it, don’t rely on this for optimum tire pressure. The alarm in your dash will turn on if your tire is losing air and drops several pounds of pressure. If your tire is down 2 or 3 pounds it will not show up on the dash of your car.

Recently some of the newer cars are more accurate and will even tell you when the cars tires are over inflated which can be just as dangerous as an under inflated tire. Both situations can decrease stability and cause the tire to over heat which may cause it to blow out. At high speeds a serious accident can easily take place.

Tire Alignment

If your car is out of alignment, you will notice uneven wear on your cars tires. This is dangerous and can lead to the car pulling on one direction or the other and your tires wearing out much more quickly. Have your alignment checked before you go on any further trips.

Tire Balance

Unbalanced tires or tires that have lost their balancing weights, will vibrate at various speeds. You can feel this vibration in the steering wheel. The tires will also wear unevenly making the situation even worse. In fact if you wait too ling, you will not be able to balance the tires properly and will need to  purchase new tires to fix the problem.

Preventive maintenance that we have discussed above will ensure that your car runs well, gets great gas mileage and that your family should have a successful trip. Why avoid or delay when failure of one of your tires could cause an accident and ruin your trip.

 


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