5 TIPS FOR TYRE MAINTENANCE BEFORE A TRIP
CHECK AND MAINTAIN YOUR TYRES BEFORE A TRIP
The trunk is full, sunglasses are on, and you are ready to hit the road. Now, put on the brakes because you have more than likely forgotten something: your tyres. They're a vital part of the journey and making sure they're in top shape before you hit the road is even more important than making sure the right playlist is ready to blast out of the car's speakers.
Take care of these five things before setting off on your next road trip adventure:
1. BOW TO THE PRESSURE
It's important to always check tyre pressure before heading out on a long trip or when carrying extra load. Driving on tyres with improper inflation pressure is dangerous and can cause tyre damage as well as affect the vehicle's ride, handling and fuel economy. Check your vehicle owner's manual for the manufacturer recommended tyre pressure for all your tyres, including your spare. Remember that tyre pressure should be checked when the tyres are "cold" which means when your car hasn't been driven for three hours or for less than 1.6 kilometres at moderate speeds.
2. GET IN THE GROOVE
When it comes to tyres, bald is hardly beautiful. Tyres should have more than a minimum of 1.66mm tread depth. Use a tread depth gauge to measure. Also look for uneven wear, such as wear on one side of the tread. Flat spots may indicate a problem with the tyre and should be checked by a tyre service professional as soon as possible.
3. GET ON YOUR KNEES
Take a moment to closely inspect the state of your tyres. Check for any cuts, cracks, splits or bruises in the tread and sidewall area. Also, bumps or bulges could mean separation within the tyre body. If found, head to the nearest tyre service professional before heading out to avoid the interruption and headache brought on by tyre failure.
4. ROTATE BEFORE YOU ROLL OUT
Before leaving for a road trip, it's a good idea to have a vehicle's tyres rotated. Rotating your tyres regularly (as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, or every 10,000 kilometres) promotes even tread wear and helps the tyre perform as designed.
5. DON'T PACK UNNECESSARY IMAGE
Vehicles have maximum weight recommendations which can be found in your vehicle owner's manual. Your tyres also have a maximum load rating stamped on their sidewall. Obeying these limits is important since excessive loads are hard on the tyres and adversely affect the vehicle ride and handling. The heavier the car, the worse the fuel economy will be, as well.