prep tires for summer

Prep your Tires for Summer Road Trips

(NC) Without proper preparation, a getaway can become difficult or even dangerous – especially when your tires fail. Whether you’re headed across the country or to the cottage, it’s vital to check your tires before a long trip, since they’re one of your car’s most important safety instruments.

Here’s a safety checklist to follow before you leave for your beautiful journeys this season.

Check your tire pressure. Low tire pressure makes blowouts more likely and harms gas mileage. Use a pressure gauge to ensure every tire is inflated to your car’s recommended tire pressure. You can find this information on a sticker inside the passenger door or in your car’s owner manual. If your tires are underinflated, take them to a dealer for a fill-up or do it yourself – many gas stations have inflation machines.

Make sure your tread depth is adequate. The lower your tire’s tread, the less responsive it is to the road – especially in the rain. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you’ve got enough tread life to keep you safe.

To check your tread, place a quarter upside down inside your tread grooves. If you see the tip of the caribou’s nose, your tread is shallow and it’s time to replace your tires. Even easier, Nokian Tyres products feature a driving safety indicator that tells you how much tread life you have left.

Get rotated and aligned. If it’s been between 10,000 and 12,000 kilometres since you’ve had your tires rotated, drop by your tire dealership to get that done. Uneven tread wear can lead to unstable driving and higher noise levels coming from your tires, and it may be a sign of a mechanical issue with your vehicle. While the car is at the shop, ask your dealer to check your alignment, too. Proper alignment can help extend the life of your tires, while poor alignment can lead to rapid and uneven deterioration in tread wear.

Check your spare. Nobody ever wants to have to use their spare tire, but when you encounter a road hazard it’s vital to have one safe and ready. When you’re rolling through this checklist with your primary tires, make sure your spare is properly inflated and still has solid tread depth.  

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