If you are planning a road trip of a few thousand or even a few hundred miles, you need to make sure your vehicle is in good working order. In addition to your car's mechanical systems, the tires also need to be able to hold up to hours of continuous driving and get you to your destination and back safely. Whether you haven't given your tires much thought or you just want to get one more trip out of them before you replace them, here are some things to have checked before you set off on the road
Tires can lose air pressure through defective valve stems, over-tightened valve caps, slow leaks, carrying or pulling heavy loads, sudden changes in temperature and impacts such as hitting curbs or potholes. When tire pressure is too low, it can make the vehicle harder to steer and can also increase your braking distance. When tires are in contact with hot pavement for hours at a time, it can lower the pressure even further and lead to a blowout or other accident. Furthermore, over- or under-inflated tires can wear out unevenly. You should always check your tire pressure regularly, but it's especially important if you'll be doing lots of highway driving.
Many things can cause tires to become misaligned, including driving on bumpy roads, hitting potholes and general wear and tear on the car's steering and suspension systems. When these systems loosen up and the tires tilt to the left or right, or inwards or outwards, it can make your vehicle pull in one direction or make your steering wheel shake or vibrate. More importantly, it can make your tires wear out quickly and unevenly. For example, you may lose tread on the sides or the center of the tires. Putting hundreds or thousands of miles on misaligned tires means you might have to replace them far sooner than you need to, so always have the alignment checked before a long trip.
You might think your tires are fine, but unless you can take them off your vehicle and inspect them closely, you could have damage that you don't know about. If you have hit a curb you might have sidewall damage, which can be dangerous at high speeds. You might also have a pinhole leak, an embedded nail or rock or a damaged tread. Although your tread depth may have been acceptable at your last annual inspection, the tires may have worn down considerably since then, depending on how many miles you drove and the quality of the tires. Nearly bald or unevenly worn treads are safety risks that can get worse the more you drive, especially if you drive for many miles on hot pavement. You may need a professional to examine the treads and determine if the tires are still safe.
Since your tires are the constant connection between you and the road, it's important that they are roadworthy and ready for your long haul. They need to be properly inflated and aligned and in great condition to keep you and other drivers safe. Even if you have recently purchased new tires, making sure that they are properly inflated and aligned can help them last longer. Before your trip, take your car to a tire store like XL Auto Service & Tires for a tire inspection. Tell them approximately how many miles you will be driving and the kind of terrain you'll be covering, for example, highway, city streets or off-road adventures. They'll make sure your tires are ready for your trip or let you know if new tires are a safer option.
21 April 2016
After trying in vain to fix my car for a few months, I realized that I needed to hire a professional. I was tired of dealing with repairs that I was unfamiliar with, and I knew that I needed to get some help. I started looking around for a great auto mechanic, and even though one business was more expensive than others, I decided to work with them. They worked hard to fix my car, and I was really pleased with how great of a job they did. This blog is all about investing in proper auto service so that you don't have to deal with problems in the future.