I'ts summer road trip time!! When we think about a road trip, we think about where we are going, who is coming with us, where we will stop and what we are going to explore.
Before a road trip can commence it is VERY, VERY, VERY important to check the tires on your car.
Yes; A/C, gas, inspection/registration stickers and insurance are important. However, getting a flat tire out in the middle of no where is very dangersous.
Here are some simple yet effective ways to make sure that your tires are all good to go before you set out on that road trip:
1. Check your tire pressure
Did you know that a few pounds of missing air pressure could be costing you money with every revolution of those rims? It's true. Tire pressure differences have been known to make as much as ten percent difference on your mileage costs, and, in this day and age, that is nothing to scoff at.
Over-inflating your tires will only cause excessive wear on the center of your treads and cost you money on their decreased lifespan. Not only that, but it would adversely affect your grip on the road and could even prove dangerous. Stick with the tire pressure printed on your sidewall and check it every couple of weeks or so.
2. Adjust your alignment
Another way to lessen the blow and create safe driving conditions is to make sure that your vehicle has a proper alignment. If you take your hands, ever so slightly, off the wheel and your vehicle veers one way or the other, your alignment is probably off. This is something that should have been taken care of when you purchased your tires, but wear and tear will eventually throw things out of balance either way.
3. Rotate your tires
Another thing you could and should do is rotate your tires. If you look at their wear, you will see that, on front tires in particular, there is a lot of additional wear along the edges from making continuous turns. If you drove only in a straight line, you wouldn't have to worry so much but, as this is not likely your situation, just remember to have this done every three to five thousand miles or every other oil change or so.
4. Check out your spare
Few consider it, but having a healthy spare with decent tire pressure will certainly save you a pretty penny lest you have to call for a tow, on some dark and scary night, and find yourself over a barrel on the price of the replacement. If you want to be certain of no problems, invest in a portable inflation device that connects to your cigarette lighter and you have the equivalent of your own air station (if you're patient, that is. This is a slow process.)
Defensive driving isn't just about following the rules and obeying the laws also incorporates maintaing your car. One malfunction in your vehicle can not only endanger your life but the lives of other motorist you share the road with.