June 5-11, 2011 marks National Tire Safety Week. Now that warmer weather is here, it’s a great time to check your tires so your car is ready for wherever you may be going this summer.
There are several things to consider when it comes to your tires. When was the last time you checked the pressure, had tires rotated, aligned, or even looked at the tread? If you can’t answer any of the above, then it’s time to do so. Here are a few things you should know about tire safety:
With winter road damage and construction there are potholes and patches in the road. When you hit one hard, or drive over many small ones repeatedly, the alignment in your car can be altered. When your wheels aren’t aligned properly, your vehicle can be more difficult to handle under stressful conditions such as quick turns or high-speed braking.
How to make a decision about tires?
When considering purchasing new tires there are many things to consider: road conditions in your area, seasonal changes, whether your car has front-wheel drive, and more. Sears Auto Center provides a resource to answer a few questions before purchasing tires to see what best fits your needs.
Summer and All Season Tires
Some drivers put winter tires on their car, but what about summer tires? There are handling benefits to each in different types of road conditions. According to Sullivan Tire and Auto Service, summer tires can be used in spring, summer, and fall because they are designed to have traction on wet and dry roads. These tires are not used in the winter because their composition and tread is not suitable for snow and ice. All season tires, though, can also be used in light snow.
When purchasing only two out of four tires, there is an additional factor to consider when you decide whether you replace the front or the rear tires. Meineke Car Care Center recommends replacing the rear tires instead of the front because rear tires that are worn down in comparison to the front can cause the back of the vehicle to slide if they lose grip on wet roads. By replacing the rear tires, there is more hydroplaning resistance.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated at all times. Correctly inflated tires minimize tread wear and optimize the amount of tire surface that touches the road, providing for better road handling. Knowing how much to inflate your tires is easy – the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) is printed right on the sidewall of the tire. Tire pressure should be measured when the tires are warm, so drive around a bit before you check the pressure.
As a Plymouth Rock customer you’ll receive our exclusive Savings Pass which offers a variety of auto-related discounts on tires, oil changes, accessories, car rentals and more from well-known retailers like Sullivan Tire and Auto Service, Meineke Car Care Center, and Sears Auto Center. Now, that’s more than just insurance!
The family driving vacation is back. This series of quick tips will help you prepare for a worry-free trip.
Before You Go
Make sure your car is ready bumper to bumper. You already know that you should prep your car’s major systems for the trip (tune up, oil change, air conditioner checkup), but don’t forget the details.
- Check tire tread and pressure. Be sure to follow the tire manufacturer’s recommendations for inflation, especially if you’re hauling or carrying a heavy load.
- Check wiper blades for wear and replace if needed.
- Check exterior lights and replace any burned out bulbs.
- Check driver’s license, registration and vehicle inspection dates and renew them if needed before you leave.
- Keep roadside emergency supplies in your vehicle. Reflectors, flares, flashlight and a reflective vest can help keep you safer in the event of a breakdown.
- Bring an extra set of keys. Just in case.
- Get an auto insurance tune-up. Talk to a professional insurance agent to make sure your coverage is up to date. If you should break down or get into a fender-bender, you don’t want any surprises about what your insurance policy covers.
Have a safe and fun trip! Stay tuned for the next segment of this series with tips on getting to your destination.
The winter isn’t over yet, but you probably feel like you and your car have had enough. With the recent break from those continuous storms, we have been seeing (and feeling) a new crop of potholes on the roads. Here is Part 1 of our series on pothole season. It includes a few tips to help you avoid potholes and the damage they can cause.
Avoid potholes. You don’t want to swerve around dangerously, but be careful to hit as few open potholes as possible while still driving safely. Minor bumps won’t do much, if any, damage but some holes are deeper than they look. A hard hit, especially at high speed, can set you up for costly tire or wheel damage.
Re-route around the worst roads. Continuous driving over heavily patched roads with lots of bumps and dips will increase wear and tear on tires, shocks, ball joints and other parts of the wheel and suspension systems. Do your best to stay on well-maintained roads.
Beware the rain-filled pothole. You know enough to avoid potholes you can see, but road divots take on different characteristics in the rain. What looks like a puddle can throw your wheels out of alignment, break a tie-rod, or worse. Keep this in mind when driving in rainy conditions. Slow down and take special care when puddles appear on an otherwise flat stretch of road.
As highway and road crews try to keep up with the holes, you may be able to help. WHDH-TV News (Channel 7) recently featured a story about an app that the City of Boston is trying to develop, called Street Bump, which would track where the potholes are in the city so that public works crews will be aware of the roads that need to be fixed. Check the story out here: http://www.whdh.com/news/articles/local/12003500731123/smartphone-app-to-detect-boston-pothole-problems/
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon, and be careful driving out there!