Tag: Summer Tires

Tires and Summer Driving Tips

Tires and Summer Driving TipsIgnoring the tires on your car at any time of the year is one of the fastest ways to prevent your car from getting good gas mileage. It can also causing unsafe conditions for handling your car at high speeds on the highway. With the price of gas sky rocketing, now is a good time to check your tires. We cover a few tires and summer driving tips.

Checking your tires to ensure you are traveling on correctly inflated tires is one of the easiest ways to save money on gas. Making sure they are properly balanced and your front end is aligned is another.

Statistics are provided by the Energy Information Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. They suggest that it is possible to save between $100.00 to $200.00 per year by avoiding under inflated tires.

Of course your individual savings is based upon how many miles you drive and how under inflated your tires are. Your car will also be more stable on the road and you can avoid accidents more easily if your tires perform well.

Tires and Summer Driving Tips

20% of Tires Under inflated

There is at least one tire under inflated by more than twenty percent (20%) on approximately twenty-three per cent (23%) of cars based on information from the Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency. That means that almost 1 in 4 cars has at least one under inflated tire. Besides lowering your fuel consumption, under inflated wheels can also lead to steering and braking problems. That makes under inflated tires a possible danger.

Using a tire gauge is the only sure way to know if your tires are under inflated but a telltale sign of under inflated tires are loud squealing when coming to a stop or turning a corner even at slow speeds.

Fuel Efficiency Lower

Driving a car with just one tire under inflated by (8 psi) or 20% can lower the car’s fuel efficiency by 4%. In addition under inflation may reduce the life of the tire by more than 9000 miles. Tires are permeable. That means that air can and does pass through the tire walls.

A tire could lose up to 2 pounds of pressure per month. This is more important in summer as more air permeates through the tire in hot weather as the pores in the tire material get larger in the heat.

To repeat that was just stated heat can accelerate air loss in tires. When a tire is under inflated, the sides of a tire flex and bend more than normal. This builds up heat in the tire. With that additional heat an under inflated tire will to lose air at faster and faster rate.

Under Inflation Requires more Power

There is more bad new concerning under inflated tires and gas consumption. Under inflation also causes the tire to increase rolling resistance. That means the motor has to work harder to move the car and that also increases fuel consumption. Also the extra flexing and bending can weaken the tire walls which could lead to sudden tire failure.

You should make it a habit to measure the air pressure in your tires at least once every month. When you measure your tire pressure the tires need to be cold. A tire on a car is considered “Cold” if the car has not been driven more than 1 mile or the car has been sitting still for at least three hours.

Check the Tire Pressure Weekly

It is a great idea to keep a pressure gauge in your car. Check the air pressure of the tires often. If you can keep your tires at the correct inflation levels you should realize a savings of between $100.00 and $200.00 per year in fuel.

Although proper tire pressure will save you gas and money, it could also prevent tire damage that could lead to accidents. Not only will you be contributing to your fuel economy you will be maintaining the safety of your vehicle.


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
  • Have your cars alignment checked
  • 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. For more about tire safety, click here.

 

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