As we mark the first day of summer, we are all reminded that the summers in Georgia are unforgiving. The extremely high temperatures and heavy humidity can not only wear you down, but also wear down your vehicle. One of the most overlooked areas of your vehicle during extreme heat is your tires. Therefore, before you are stuck on the Atlanta freeways or taking a summer road trip, have a professional inspect your tires.
Did you know that car owners should have a spring/summer set of tires? Many consumers assume that a tire is just a tire—it should be able to handle anything. However, with the scorching temperatures of the south, drivers need to be a bit more educated. Take the following tire tips and we can assure you that your summer driving will be safer than ever!
- Drivers should always keep a tire gauge. Gauges inform drivers when they need to add air to their tire.
- When a tire is under inflated or over inflated the longevity of the tire decreases. These two issues can also result in driving problems.
- Tire pressure should be taken every single month. Check the label on the inside of your driver-side door for the proper inflation.
- When testing the tire pressure, make sure that the tire is cool. The hotter a tire gets, the less accurate the measurement.
- Underinflated tires spinning on hot asphalt for a long period of time can be extremely dangerous—even deadly.
- The importance of knowing how old your tires are and their tread life is essential. An old tire with hot weather is a combination no driver wants to endure. This is why we see so many blown tires on the interstate or people needing assistance.
- Lastly, check your tire tread. You can use a penny, or even a quarter, to check your tires’ tread.
The Penny Test: Place a penny into the tires’ tread grooves with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head (i.e., the top of Lincoln’s head is visible), it is time to replace your tires.
The Quarter Test: Place a quarter into the tires’ tread grooves with Washington’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Washington’s head (i.e., the top of Washington’s head is visible), it is time to replace your tires.
As the heat rises, don’t neglect your vehicle or its tires. Being a proactive driver will keep you safe and prevent you from being stranded on the side of an interstate because of a melted blown-out tire! Stay safe and stay cool!
Remember, your tires are the only things between you and the road.