6802 Peters Creek Road
Roanoke, VA 24019

Summer Driving Tips for your Tires

June 6th, 2016

The temperatures are going up, summer’s right around the corner and that means road trips for you and your family. It’s important to remember that heat is the Tires in Roanoke VA enemy of your vehicle’s tires, making it extra important to keep up on tire maintenance in the summer months. Here are some important things to remember:

·         Check your tires’ inflation levels. There’s probably nothing in this list that’s more important than tire inflation. An underinflated tire has greater rolling resistance, meaning a hit on fuel economy and increased heat buildup. That heat can start to damage the tire’s layers of cords and steel belts, possibly leading to complete failure. Your vehicle should feature a sticker for proper tire pressure at the door frame or inside the door’s edge. Remember that air is a gas and will expand when hot, so be sure to check tire pressure when the tires are cold (sitting for at least three hours). Invest in a good tire pressure gauge and don’t rely on the ones built into the air hoses at the gas station.

·         Check your alignment. If you’re noticing a pull to one side while driving, a tendency for the steering to feel “heavy” and clumsy or if the wheel doesn’t center itself properly after a turn, you may need a wheel alignment. Check your tires’ tread for uneven wear along the inside or outside edges, and feel across the tread surface for a “sawtooth” wear pattern. Poor alignment costs you money in terms of fuel economy, and will wear your tires prematurely!

·         Rotate your tires. Tires should be rotated at 6,000 mile intervals to ensure proper wear. Since that coincides with the oil change interval for conventional oil, why not have both jobs done at once? Besides, failure to have this maintenance task performed can invalidate the tires’ warranty.

·         Check the tires themselves. Get a good look at the tires for cracks or bulges in the sidewall, foreign objects in the tread or tread grooves, signs of dry rot or other obvious problems. Check the tread depth using a penny; insert the penny into the tread grooves, Lincoln’s head down. If the tread reaches Abe’s head, your tires are at the minimum legal depth of 2/32”. Try the test again with a quarter – if the tread reaches Washington’s head, the tread is 4/32” deep. One more time with the penny…a tread depth of 6/32” will reach the Lincoln Memorial.

Don’t find yourself stuck by the side of the road this summer with a failed tire! Make an appointment and come on by Star City Tire in Roanoke, VA before you go out on the interstate this year.

  Posted in: Tires 101