To make your car road trip ready, there are several things to do. First, check your tires.
Road Trip and Tire Safety
When they are in good condition and properly inflated, the handling, stability and safety of the vehicle will be maximized. On the other hand, when the tires are not properly inflated, damaged or worn out, all of the safety systems that you have on your vehicle cannot compensate the loss of control that comes with a blow-out. When air pressure is low, it can also affect poor fuel economy and handling.
Tires naturally lose pressure every month especially at changing temperatures, so ongoing neglect will eventually result in a tire that cannot support the weight of the vehicle and the occupants. When this happens, the resulting blow-out can result in an accident.
It’s also important to rotate the tires every 5-7,000 miles. Today’s front-wheel-drive vehicles cause the front tires to wear at a much faster rate than the tires on the rear axle. By periodically rotating the front tires to the back and the back tires to the front, motorists can achieve even treadwear on all four tires and increase the mileage and performance. Failing to rotate the tires often results in the front tires wearing out faster while the rear tires develop irregular treadwear patterns that cause vibrations. Also, when the vehicle is not properly aligned, the tires will wear out faster.
Finally, drivers should perform a visual inspection of their tires on a regular basis, especially after hitting a pothole, curb or any type of road debris. Bulges, cuts and other visible damage weaken the internal components of the tire, which can lead to a blow-out. Regular visual inspections will often identify any potential problems before they result in an accident.
A few good rules of thumb are: every time you fill up for gas, every 10 degree change in temperature, or every 30 days.
It’s also a good idea to have the tires inspected by a professional before any long road trips to ensure there are no obvious out-of-service conditions that must be addressed.