The 2014 National Tire Safety week, sponsored by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, is taking place June 1-7. The week-long event aims to teach drivers about proper tire care, especially in the coming summer months when cross-country road trips are most popular. Taking care of your tires will ensure longevity and improve your car's overall performance on long trips.
"Regular tire maintenance is critical to optimizing fuel efficiency, maximizing tire tread life and promoting a safe driving experience," said RMA Senior Vice President Dan Zielinski.
This is the perfect opportunity to learn about how to maintain your vehicle's tires and recognize signs that it's time to head to professionals at an auto repair franchise.
In honor of RMA's safety week, Michelin and TireRack.com compiled a list of the most important tire features. They urge drivers to remember T.I.R.E., or the four aspects of your vehicle you should check before starting a road trip across the U.S.
Tires need at least a 2/32" tread to efficiently whisk water away from the vehicle and limit the possibility of hydroplaning during inclement weather. A good way to check the depth of your treads is by inserting a quarter into the tire tread. If you can see the very top of George Washington's head on the coin, the tread is about 4/32". Turning the wheel of your car to see the whole tire is crucial, since potential wear might not show on just the outside edge.
Having the correct tire pressure improves the safety and fuel economy of your vehicle. Ideally, the pressure in your tires should be checked once a month and before a long driving trip. Frequent checks ensure that your tire isn't low on pressure or losing air through a leak. The optimal pressure for your tires can be found in the door of your car, inside the glove compartment or in the owners manual. Overinflated tires are equally as dangerous as deflated tires, so make sure not to go above the recommended pressure.
Ideally, tires should be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles to help extend their lifetime. This ensures even wear and tear on all four wheels, while also reducing the odds you'll have to mix and match tires in the future.
Events like RMA's National Tire Safety Week and Tire Rack's Tire Rack Street Survival teach drivers, especially younger ones, about the importance of tire maintenance. If individual drivers actively maintain the health of their tires, roads could be a safer place for everyone.