NewsUSA – As football season kicks off, many Americans look forward to tailgating parties. But you might not make it to the parking lot with worn tires.
Tires with worn tread can become safety hazards. When it’s wet, a braking car may need up to four times its regular stopping distance. Worn tread can cause cars to hydroplane, or skim over the road with little or no traction, which can lead to lost control.
There are a number of steps you can take to avoid being blind-sided by worn tires this football season. Firestone Complete Care offers a few tire-maintenance game plays:
– Balanced Line – In a balanced-line offense, the number of football players is divided evenly on either side of the center. Likewise, drivers need to make sure that their tire tread pattern wears evenly across each tire and equally on both sides of their vehicles.
Uneven tread wear can signify different problems, including over- or under-inflation, tires out of balance or wheels out of alignment. If your tread looks uneven, ask your service professional to take a look.
– Spiral – During a correct throw, a football rotates smoothly and without wobbling. Properly maintained tires also rotate smoothly.
In addition to keeping your tires inflated and balanced, you should rotate them every 5,000 miles or as indicated in your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. The force exerted on each tire will differ depending on the tire’s position on the vehicle, causing different tread-wear patterns on each tire. Your tires are more likely to wear evenly if you rotate them.
– Zone Defense – Tires can lose one pound of air pressure per square inch (psi) each month, and one psi for every 10-degree Fahrenheit temperature drop. It’s important to check your tires monthly with an accurate tire gauge.
Check your tire pressure only when the vehicle has been driven less than one mile or has been sitting for at least three hours. You can’t tell whether a tire needs air just by looking at it. Driving on under-inflated or overloaded tires at high speeds over long distances – for instance, driving on the highway – can lead to tire failure and accidents.
Trisha Hessinger is a former racecar driver and nationally recognized automotive-education specialist for Firestone Complete Auto Care.