This summer, millions of Americans will set out on road trips without paying attention to a factor that could make or break their journeys: their tires. Whether your getaway is to local off-road trails or across the continent, there are a few important tire safety steps you should take before you hit the highway – or leave it behind.
Make sure you’re driving The right tires
Even the best-maintained tires can leave you in a tough spot if you don’t have the right tires in the first place. If you’re heading off the beaten path, ensure you’re riding on a set of all-terrain tires. Driving into high altitudes? All-weather tires with the three-peak mountain snowflake certification will help if you encounter snowy weather. And if you drive a set of dedicated winter tires, trade them out when temperatures consistently rise above 45 degrees – heat causes them to wear quickly and unevenly.
The Nokian Tyres Outpost AT and APT tires are approved for any terrain and weather, making them suitable for year-round use in areas that don’t experience sustained winter weather. That makes them a great summer adventure option.
Turn up the pressure
Low tire pressure makes blowouts more likely and harms gas mileage. Use a tire pressure gauge to ensure every tire is inflated to your car’s recommended tire pressure, which you can usually find on a sticker inside your driver door or in your car’s owner manual. If your tires are underinflated, take them to a tire dealer for a fill-up or do it yourself – many gas stations have inflation machines.
Check your tread depth
Road trips are not the time to mess around with shallow tread grooves. The shallower your tire’s tread, the less responsive it is to the road when the weather’s rainy. Hydroplaning is a particularly dangerous possibility when your tread depth is lacking.
Tire dealers typically inspect your tire tread when you take your car in for a checkup. If you’d like to check your own tread, perform the penny test to make sure your grooves are still at safe levels. Even better: Nokian Tyres products feature a Driving Safety Indicator that tells you how much tread life you have left.
Get rotated and aligned
If it has been between 4,000 and 8,000 miles since you’ve had your tires rotated, drop by your tire dealership to get that done. Uneven tread wear can lead to unstable driving. While the car is at the shop, ask your dealer to check the tire alignment, too. Proper alignment can help extend the life of your tires. Poor alignment can lead to rapid 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.
Wherever your getaways take you this summer, make sure the tires taking you there are in good shape. For more advice, or to enter your favorite road trip for a chance to win free tires, visit NokianTires.com/Remote.
Information for this article was provided by BPT. Visit NokianTires.com/Remote to learn more.