Having your annual summer vacation with the family can be quite exciting, but you need to prepare ahead of time, especially with your vehicle. Whether you’re driving to the beach or somewhere far from civilization, it’s best to check your tires for any issues so you won’t be bothered on your trip. Here’s a simple tire safety checklist that should come in handy.
1. Tire Pressure
Tires should be checked for pressure before taking a long drive. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will provide you with the recommended tire pressure level for your vehicle’s tires. If you’re driving a light truck or SUV, the recommended tire pressure can range from 30 to 35 psi. Meanwhile, a vehicle with standard tires should be around 32 to 36 psi, depending on the manufacturer.
Check the inflation pressure of your tires by using a good tire gauge. Make sure you’re using a dial-type tire pressure gauge to get an accurate reading in pounds per square inch (psi). This is important, especially if you’re driving long distances on the road. The pressure in your tires may decrease significantly when you drive for an extended period of time.
Moreover, if you see that the tires are heavily worn and flat, it’s best to replace them. You can check the tire pressure at least once a month, but it’s best that you check it once a week.
2. Tread Depth and Worn Spots
Your tires may look worn and flat, but you won’t be able to check the tread depth of your tires when you have a flat tire. If you notice any worn spots on the tires, check if they’re on the inside or outside of the tire. If they are on the inside of the tires, it’s okay, but it’s best to replace the tire if they’re on the outside.
The tread depth should be at least 2/32nds of an inch. If the tread is already below this limit, it’s best to replace the tire. Worn tire tread can increase your stopping distance and increase the chances of your vehicle skidding on the road. Check your vehicle’s manufacturer’s recommendation for wear and tear guidelines.
3. Tire Alignment
Alignment is important because it can help you avoid irregular tire wear. Keep in mind that tires are more prone to irregular wear if the alignment is not properly checked.
If you notice that your vehicle drifts to the right or left side during your trip, you should check the alignment of your tires. Make sure that your vehicle’s tires are all pointing in the same direction for better traction and road handling.
To check the alignment, you can use a long straightedge object. Most alignment shops and mechanics use the edge of a 2×4. Alignment should help reduce irregular tire wear, improve vehicle handling and reduce tire wear.
4. Tire Rotation and Balance
If you have a set of four new tires on your vehicle, it’s best to rotate and balance your tires after 6,000 to 8,000 miles. Ideally, you should rotate and balance your tires every 10,000 miles. This is to prevent the tires from wearing on one side. It’s also best to rotate and balance your tires, so you don’t need to replace all of them at once.
5. Spare Tires
If you have a small flat tire, it’s important to have a spare tire so you can immediately change it. Having a spare tire can get you out of trouble in some situations. You should always prepare a spare tire and jack in your vehicle’s trunk so you can immediately change a flat tire.
It’s best to check your spare tire and jack. If they are already in a terrible condition, it’s time to replace them. Having a spare tire that is nearly bald can be more of a problem than not having one at all. In case you have an emergency and don’t have an extra tire, you can call roadside assistance and get help from your insurance company.
Your tires are one of the most important components of your vehicle, so it’s best to take care of them. If you follow all of the steps in this tire safety checklist, you won’t have any issues on your long-distance road trip.
For quality auto service, Limitless Tires is the only name you can trust in Calgary, AB. Whether you need your wheel alignment checked, ECU tuning or you need quick and effective tire auto repair services, our team is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our services.