How to Maintain Your Tires During the Summer

Tired of the summer heat? So are your tires.

You may have noticed lately when driving that there are more tire fragments than usual on the road. Why is that? The big reason why more blowouts happen in the summer to put it simply is the heat. As the temperature outside rises, the air in your car’s tires expands. When outside temperatures rise above 90 degrees, blowouts are more likely to happen. Fast driving combined with extreme heat and scorching pavement can lead to a major tire blowout.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that tire failures cause approximately 11,000 crashes per year. To avoid a tire blowout this summer, follow these five easy steps.

Buy the right tools. First and foremost, make sure you have the right tools to check your tire pressure. Buy a tire pressure gauge to keep in your vehicle. Most experts recommend using dial or digital gauges rather than a stick for a more accurate reading.

Check the tire pressure. It is important to check your tires to make sure you have the right tire pressure in all four tires, plus the spare one in your trunk, at least once a month. Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended tire pressure and check the pressure before you start driving for an accurate reading.

Do the “penny test.” If you can see any of Abraham Lincoln’s head when you put a penny in the tread, it’s time for new tires. For an exact measurement, the tread shouldn’t be worn down below 2/32 of an inch.

Inspect your tires. Check for cuts and bulges. If you see any signs of unusual wear and tear, bring your vehicle to an automotive technician that can inspect the tire and determine if you need a new one.

Rotate your tires. It is important to have an automotive technician rotate your tires every five to eight thousand miles. Front tires tend to wear more quickly than the rear ones.

If you are in doubt, it is best to bring your car to an automotive technician so they can accurately diagnose any problem you may have with your tires. And remember, if you experience a tire blowout, pull over immediately to a safe, well-lit area.

Jesse Torres is an instructor at the Universal Technical Institute Dallas/Fort Worth campus. Before becoming an instructor, he worked as an automotive technician in Irving.


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