Is Your Car Road-Worthy This Summer?

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Your car is a huge, on-going investment, but many people like to cut down a bit on the outflow of cash by skipping their auto maintenance. At the end of the day, while you’ll save money right now, in the long run skipping out on a few primary tasks will cost you plenty more. One of the most ignored tasks is checking tires. In fact, according to experts at one tire shop escondido ca drivers should get in the habit of performing a “walk-around” inspection. It takes less than a minute and can save you from avoidable breakdowns and expensive tickets.

Each Season Requires Different Car Care

Many drivers don’t realize that as the season changes so does the maintenance requirements for cars. Low temperatures in the winter and the summertime’s excess heat requires vehicles to become adaptable to varied changes. During the winter, tires adapt to the cold temperatures by deflating. The result is sometimes imperceptible to a visual inspection before getting into the car since the lowering of the pressure is limited to a few tenths of a bar yet sufficient to influence braking and grip to the road. 

As we head into Spring and Summer, outside temperatures change and the temperature inside the tires will also change. Hot air expands and tire pressure is higher creating more road friction. Most drivers neglect to check their tire pressure, and when not checked for weeks the vehicle will not only start to consume more gas but the wrong tire pressure can make the vehicle unsafe for driving.

Most states mandate tire replacement when the tread grooves reach 2/32 inch in depth, and that really is the worst case scenario. With 2/32 inch of tread, water on the road can get trapped under the tire, causing the rubber to leave the road. When this occurs, you lose grip and slide. The penny and quarter tricks have been around almost as long as there have been pennies and quarters, and they are still used today. If you place a penny on-end in the tread grooves and the tire tread blocks come up to the top of Lincoln’s head, then you have at least 2/32 inch of tread left. 

Why Pressure and Tread Wear Is Important

Just like your fluid levels, tire pressure is something you should check once a week. Passenger car tires are designed to work with 30 to 35 psi of air pressure. Running higher pressure will net you somewhat better steering response and fuel economy, while lower pressure will give you a better grip for cornering, braking, and acceleration. Experts say do not use the maximum inflation pressure listed on the side of the tire because it can prematurely wear the center of your tires. These experts also say when in doubt, check the vehicle placard inside the driver’s side jamb. This tag carries most of your vehicle’s specs. 

In a perfect world, your tires would wear evenly from one side to the other, but a number of things can cause tread to wear unevenly. Over-inflation will wear the center of the tread while under-inflation will wear the edges prematurely. Also, consistently rotating your tires will typically extend the tread’s lifespan about 30 percent longer. 

Short term maintenance and inspections pay off in the end. It not only keeps your vehicle in a safe-driving mode but will save you money. Maintenance is also vital for your vehicle’s longevity. The more miles you place on your car the more crucial consistent car maintenance becomes.

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