Check your tires before heading on the road this summer

May 17, 2011 12:00 AM

Summer is quickly approaching, meaning it's time to do some seasonal checkups. Kiplinger's Personal Finance team has come up with a checklist for drivers to prepare for the warm weather, as keeping up with these tasks could save hundreds on vehicle maintenance costs in the future.

The tires are the most important part of the car - they get you moving, after all. Make sure that they are up to the automaker's standards in terms of air pressure, as the correct level could boost your car's efficiency by up to 3 percent. You want them to be just right, as underinflated tires are at a higher risk to blow out, while overinflated tires can cause issues when driving in the rain.

Drivers should also be checking tire tread every summer. A good way to check is to stick a penny in the tread gaps, with Lincoln's head facing down. If the head is fully visible, take the penny out and it put it toward a new set of tires. Kiplinger suggests Goodyear's Assurance FuelMax line, which reportedly increase fuel efficiency by 4 percent over regular Assurance tires. They are made of a "new polymer that maximizes handling and durability."

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