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 tire pressure before heading out on a long trip or when carrying extra load. Driving on tires with improper inflation pressure is dangerous and can cause tire damage as well as affect the vehicle's ride, handling and fuel economy. Check your vehicle owner's manual for the manufacturer recommended tire pressure for all your tires, including your spare. Remember that tire pressure should be checked when the tires 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 tires, bald is hardly beautiful. Tires 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 tire and should be checked by a tire service professional as soon as possible.
3. Get on Your Knees
Take a moment to closely inspect the state of your tires. Check for any cuts, cracks, splits or bruises in the tread and sidewall area. Also, bumps or bulges could mean separation within the tire body. If found, head to the nearest tire service professional before heading out to avoid the interruption and headache brought on by tire failure.
4. Rotate Before You Roll Out
Before leaving for a road trip, it's a good idea to have a vehicle's tires rotated. Rotating your tires regularly (as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, or every 10,000 kilometres) promotes even tread wear and helps the tire perform as designed.
5. Don't Pack Unnecessary Luggage
Vehicles have maximum weight recommendations which can be found in your vehicle owner's manual. Your tires also have a maximum load rating stamped on their sidewall. Obeying these limits is important since excessive loads are hard on the tires and adversely affect the vehicle ride and handling. The heavier the car, the worse the fuel economy will be, as well.