What is Your Tire Trying to Tell You?
In the heat of a Phoenix summer, the surface temperature of the road can easily exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit. As expected, these high surface temperatures are not forgiving on your vehicle’s tires as you run errands and commute to work or school. Hot temperatures exacerbate heat build-up and weaken each tire, sometimes causing tire failure. Fortunately, most tire failures can be avoided with proper maintenance. Could your tires be showing you warning signs that you’re missing? Follow these maintenance tips to keep your tires in top shape in all kinds of weather.
- Pay Attention to Tire Pressure
Under-inflated tires generate more heat due to excessive sidewall flexing, causing them to wear down faster and lower fuel economy. In contrast, over-inflated tires are more likely to explode when on the road; if this happens while in heavy traffic, it may cause an accident.
To get the optimal tire pressure, check the inflation pressure when the tires are cool or have been sitting motionless for three hours. For best results, use a portable compressor that works off your car’s power outlet. This will give you the most accurate reading. Inflate the tires to the setting outlined in the tire information placard in the driver’s door jamb – not the PSI recommended on the tire sidewall. Check the tire pressure monthly.
- Pass the Penny Test
The tire tread penny test helps you gauge when you need to replace your tires. Insert a penny into the tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace the tires.
- Look for Obvious Damage
Inspect the tire wall surface for any bubble bulges or cracking along the side walls. If the surface is damaged in any way, replace the tire.
- Check for Leaks
Spray water on your valve stem and tire bead and watch for air bubbles, as these are a major symptom of a leak. If the valve stem is leaking air, the tire is at risk of blowing out, so replace any damaged tires immediately.
- Secure the Wheels
Wiggle the tire side to side and back and forth to make sure it is anchored on properly. If loose, check the lug nuts to make sure they’re secure. It is possible for the lug nut anchors to be stripped and need repairs. Take to a tire shop or a mechanic if you suspect something is wrong with the wheel anchor or lug nut bolts.
Routinely checking for all of these conditions can help you prevent tire blow outs and expensive repairs. If a tire blow out occurs on any of the valley freeways or surface roads, it can a cause major collision. Obviously, total auto body collision repairs are much more expensive than the cost of tire replacement when needed. Checking for tire damage is free, and if you’re uncomfortable checking it yourself, most tire shops offer free tire pressure and tread checks.
If your unsafe tires caused an auto accident, please only consult with a certified OEM Phoenix collision repair shop to protect your vehicle’s warranty and provide quality work that will last for years to come.
Come to Premier Coach Works if you are in need of auto body repair services in or near Phoenix. Our facility comes highly recommended by many local dealerships and insurance companies for collision repair. Claim a free body shop estimate at our El Mirage location!