This summer, many will set out on road trips without paying attention to a factor that could make or break their journeys: their tyres. Whether your getaway is to local off-road trails or across the country, there are a few important tire safety steps you should take before you hit the highway - or leave it behind.
Make sure you're driving the right tyres
Even the best-maintained tyres can leave you in a tough spot if you don't have the right tyres in the first place. If you're heading off the beaten path, ensure you're riding on a set of all-terrain tyres.
Turn up the pressure
Low tyre pressure makes blowouts more likely and harms gas mileage. Use a tire pressure gauge to ensure every tire is inflated to your car's recommended tyre pressure, which you can usually find on a sticker inside your driver door or in your car's owner manual. If your tyres are underinflated, take them to a tyre dealer for a fill-up or do it yourself - many gas stations have inflation machines.
Check your tread depth
Road trips are not the time to mess around with shallow tread grooves. The shallower your tyre's tread, the less responsive it is to the road when the weather's rainy. Hydroplaning is a particularly dangerous possibility when your tread depth is lacking. Tyre dealers typically inspect your tyre tread when you take your car in for a checkup.
Get rotated and aligned
If it has been between 4,000 and 8,000 miles since you've had your tyres rotated, drop by your tyres dealership to get that done. Uneven tread wear can lead to unstable driving. While the car is at the shop, ask your dealer to check the tire alignment, too. Proper alignment can help extend the life of your tires. Poor alignment can lead to rapid tread wear.
Check your spare
Nobody ever wants to have to use their spare tire, but when you encounter a road hazard it's vital to have one safe and ready. When you're rolling through this checklist with your primary tires, make sure your spare is properly inflated and still has solid tread depth.
Wherever your getaways take you this summer, make sure the tyres taking you there are in good shape