April 30, 2003
SUMMER TIRE CHECKLIST
-The Department of Transportation has these tire safety tips for consumers
during the summertime vacation season. Tire care is especially critical in
warm weather because long trips, heavy loads, higher speeds and higher
temperatures all put additional stress on tires.
Check your tires regularly to be sure there are no visible signs of wear,
damage, bulges, or tread separation.
Be sure your tires are properly inflated. Check your tire pressure
often--with an accurate gauge - for routine driving and before and during
any long trips. Measure the tire when the tires are cold, before you drive
on them. The recommended inflation pressure can be found in your owner's
manual or on a label frequently found in the glove box, near the door latch
on the driver's side, or other locations on your vehicle. The recommended
inflation pressure is not to be confused with the maximum inflation pressure
that is shown on the side of the tire. At the recommended inflation
pressure, tires will last longer and be less likely to fail, and the car
will use less fuel. Serious injury can result from tire failure because of
under inflation or overloading.
Never overload your vehicle. Your car and tires are designed to operate
safely only up to their load limits. These limits are shown in your owner's
manual and on the certification plate on the edge of the driver's door.
Make sure there is enough tread on the tire to operate safely and the
tires are wearing normally. All grooves should be visible and deep enough to
at least touch the top of Lincoln's head on a penny inserted head first in
the tread. Low tread or bald tires are unsafe and need to be replaced.
If some spots on the tire seem to be wearing faster than others, see your
tire dealer, service station or mechanic. You could have misaligned wheels,
worn shock absorbers, or other potential problems. Make sure your tires are
aligned and balanced properly.
Don't drive at a high rate of speed for a long time, particularly in hot
weather. Obey posted speed limits. Lower speeds also mean better gas
Make sure that every person in every vehicle is properly restrained in a
seat belt or child safety seat on every trip - before you turn the key in