As the Fourth of July draws closer, I’ve found my mind drifting to thoughts of fireworks, warm nights, sparklers, picnics, and road trips…hello, summertime!
Every year for the Fourth of July my family journeys out to upstate New York to spend the holiday in the splendor of the countryside. The area of New York my family visits is about a 4 hour drive from my home in Cleveland, so clearly a bit of a road trip is involved. If any of you, like me, plan on road tripping over this year’s Fourth of July, checking your vehicle’s tire pressure before you hit the road could make all the difference in your ride.
Tires are designed to perform and handle a certain way; however, when they aren’t inflated properly, they will not retain their intended shape, causing handling problems. When tires are underinflated, more energy is needed to move the tire, which can lead to a build-up of heat. Eventually all of this excess heat can lead to severe tire damage! When tires are overinflated, they tend to lose a lot of their traction because the tread doesn’t make full contact with the road. Turns out this also can significantly damage your tires.
No one wants to be stuck in the middle of nowhere on a hot, sunbaked highway with a tire problem and a car full of kids — I know I wouldn’t! To check your tire pressure, it is best to use a tire pressure gauge and check your tires when they are cool. To find the correct tire pressure for you tires, look for your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure in the vehicle owner’s manual or driver side door jamb. Don’t refer to the pressure located on the sidewall of your tires, as this is actually the maximum pressure that your tire can hold and not the recommended pressure for your vehicle.
Checking your tire pressure is a relatively simple precaution that can keep you and your family safer. Plus having properly inflated tires can also enhance your vehicle’s fuel efficiency! Who doesn’t love a win-win? Happy Fourth of July!