Checking your tires before a trip should always be a priority because a basic inspection of your tires can improve your safety and help the overall fuel economy of the car. A flat tire or any other problems with your car can be an inconvenience and a safety concern when you’re far from home, and the heat build up on the tires due to long distance traveling can increase these issues. Here is a guide on a few things you should check when inspecting your tires.
Check Tread Depth
If you have Tread Depth Gauge, insert it into the grooves between the treads of the tires and press down on the base plate of the gauge unit until its flush with the tire tread. Report the process in a couple of different areas to confirm the reading.
A tread Depth of 5/32″ or more is a good depth, a depth of 3/32″ to 4/32″ should be the depth where the tire should be considered replaced, and a depth of 2/32″ or less the tire should be replaced immediately.
What if you don’t have a depth gauge?
If you don’t have depth gauge you can use a coin like the Canadian Nickel. Insert the coin with Queen Elizabeth’s crown facing downwards. If you can see the top of the Queen’s crown, your tire’s tread is below the 2/32” mark and needs to be replaced to avoid further problems.
Check the Tire Sides for Cuts and Bulges
Bulges and Cuts on the side of your tire can be caused from hitting potholes and curbs on the road. If you ever see evident Cuts or Bulges on your tires you should get them replaced immediately.
Check the Tire Pressure
Having a good about of tire pressure in your tires is important because an underinflated tire can cause heat to build up that can cause a tire failure. It’s a good idea to keep a tire pressure gauge handy in the car.
Underinflated tires are less fuel efficient and wear out faster than properly inflated tires. And over inflating tires by too much can cause an improper footprint with the road, causing more damage when going over potholes.
The correct pressure for your tires are found on the sticker on the driver’s doorjamb of your car or it can be found in your owner’s manual.
Check the age of the tires.
If your tires are over 10 years old they should be replaced regardless if the tires are worn out or not. Every tire has a code for when it was manufactured. Look for the words “DOT” and then the characters following, the last four digits will be the date it was manufactured. The first two digits are the week and the last two digits are the year (ex. 0213 would be the second week of 2013)