Frequently Asked Questions About Tire Safety
Proper Tire Inflation
Q. Why is proper tire inflation important?
A. Under inflated tires cause unnecessary stress, wear, and can cause loss of control of a vehicle. In fact, improper inflation is a leading cause of tire failures while driving. According to recent studies, nearly half of all vehicles on the road have at least one under-inflated tire, and tire inflation is blamed for hundreds of accidents each year. Taking the time to make sure your tires are properly inflated can significanly reduce the risk to you and your family of tire failure while driving.
Q. How can I tell if my tires are properly inflated? Is looking at them enough?
A. Absolutely not. In fact, your tire can be at half the recommended level of tire inflation and still appear to be perfectly normal. Always check your tires with a tire guage.
Q. When is the best time to check my tires?
A. The best time to check your tires is first thing in the morning. The heat created from driving increases your tire's air pressure, so to get an accurate reading, you should always measure tire pressure when the care has been unused for at least three hours.
Q. How does the heat affect my tires?
A. When tires get too hot the risk of tire failure increases. Excessive speed, under-inflation or excessive loading, either separately or in combination, can cause heat buildup and possible tire failure. When the weather is hot, these problems are made worse. In addition, warm weather causes the air pressure in your tire to go up 1 to 2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change. That's why paying attention to proper tire inflation is especially important during the hot summer months.
Q. How does cold weather affect my tires?
A. When the weather turns cold, your tires lose air pressure. For every ten degree drop in temperature, your tirs lose 1 to 2 pounds of air pressure. So you need to add air to compensate for this loss of air pressure.
Q. Why is it important to avoid overloading my vehicle?
A. Overloading your vehicle puts extra strain on your tires by creating excessive heat. Excessive heat can cause tire failure, especially during long trips. In addition, excessive loading causes the tires to expand which can lead to increased tread deterioration, another cause of tire failure. Tire failure on the highway can lead to serious accidents.
Q. How do I know if I'm overloading my vehicle?
A. Before hitting the road make sure to check your vehicle's loading recommendation. This information can be found on the vehicle information placard on the door post, or in the owner's manual, then figure out the total weight you're loading. And as you load up the trunk and roof rack, remember you and your passengers count towards the total recommended vehicle weight.