For many of us, summer is a religious experience — the sun’s appearance after months of winter gray makes life worth living again. It also means road trips! While there are plenty of articles out there about how to best plan and prepare your vehicle for a summer road trip, there really aren’t many specifically relating to summer tires. And, when you think about it, who’s bearing most of the weight while driving? Your tires.
So let’s get them ready:
- Make sure they have enough tread.
This is one of the ways you can tell if you need new tires. On wet roads, as tread wears down, both the distance it takes for you to stop and your risk of hydroplaning increase. Check out your state’s requirement, too, to know what’s legal. You can then use the penny test to check your depth.
- Rotate them, if applicable.
Not all tires or vehicles require rotation, so check your owners’ manual or with your dealership. If you do need one, be sure to get it before heading out for a long trip. All tread wears down, and rotation helps ensure your tires wear down evenly.
- Make sure they’re inflated to the right tire pressure.
The more tire tread that touches the road, the more grip you have. Check your owners’ manual for your correct pressure and adjust it for increased weight.
- Check your tire alignment.
If you haven’t had your tire alignment checked in a while, before you go on a long drive is the perfect time to do so. Ever hit a curb? Yeah, it happens. But that can throw off your vehicle’s alignment, which can adversely affect how your tires wear down.
- Make sure you know how to change it (or know who to call).
The last thing you want is to be stranded somewhere with a flat tire. If you bought your tires from RightTurn.com, they may have road hazard coverage, too, so if you hit a nail or a pothole, check to see if your installer will fix or replace it at a reduced cost to you.
Being prepared for summer driving is important, and your tires are a big part of that. Even if you’re lucky enough to live in an area with year-round mild weather, these tips are still good reminders of how to best take care of the only four points of contact with the road.
Now that our tires are good, where shall we go?