Top 5 Things to Check for Your Summer Tires’ Maintenance
By now, your car should have adequate summer tires installed on it. If it does not, this needs to be taken care of ASAP since winter tires are not made to be driven during the summer (they will also wear out sooner than they should which will force you to buy another set of winter tires prematurely). Just like everything that is part of a car, maintenance work needs to be performed on your summer tires. In this article, we will discuss the top 5 things that you need to check for your summer tires’ maintenance.
1) Tire Pressure
Adequate tire pressure is one of the most important things to look for when maintaining your summer tires. Indeed, it should not be too high or too low since both extremes have negative consequences on your tires. For example, 20% over-inflated tires will lose about 10 000 km of lifetime expectancy. Under-inflated tires are dangerous. Meanwhile, under-inflated tires wear out faster, are dangerous for the safety of car occupants and increase fuel usage.
You should verify your tire pressure monthly. Also, this verification should be done when your vehicle is ‘’cold’’, which means that it has been stationary for 2 hours and have driven less than 3 km at a moderate speed. However, if it is impossible to measure your tire pressure in a cold check, add 4,35 PSI to the measure you will get to compensate.
2) Tire Tread Depth
The depth of your summer tire treads is also very important to check. Indeed, they are the part of your tire that disperses water when you drive on wet roads in order to minimize aquaplaning risks.
Have you ever heard of the penny test? If you have not, it is a commonly used test to check tire tread depth. It consists in inserting a penny into a tire tread with the queen’s crown pointing to the sky. If you are able to see the top of the queen’s crown, your tires need to be changed.
However, you should know that there is a more precise test that you can perform instead of the penny test. By using a depth gauge, you take depth readings and according to the result you get, you will need to take different actions.
- If tread depth = 6/32’’, you do not need to do anything since tread depth is appropriate.
- If tread depth = 5/32’’, you should consider to change your tires if you drive on wet roads.
- If tread depth is between 4/32’’ to 3/32’’, you should closely monitor your tires and prepare yourself to replace them.
- If tread depth = 2/32’’, your tires are too worn to be used on the road and must be replaced immediately, according to the law.
3) Wheel Alignment
When you purchase a brand new car, your wheels are perfectly parallel. However, this parallelism may be broken over time if you hit something on the road such as a pothole. Uneven wear on aside of the tire relative to the other is a give away of disrupted parallelism.
If you notice parallelism issues with your vehicle, you should immediately contact an auto mechanic professional. It is important that your wheels are parallel because it optimizes handling, prevent summer tires wear from premature or irregular wear and contributes to fuel economy.
4) Tire Rotation
Summer tires rotation is a great way to extend their life expectancy and improve the way that they will perform. Regarding how often you should rotate your tires, follow what your car manufacturer recommends.
5) Valves and Valve Caps
Valves and valve caps should also be on your checklist when you are performing your summer tires’ maintenance because they wear out with time, just like tires do. In fact, you should replace when you replace your tires to ensure that they are safe for the road.
Valves and valve caps that are in excellent condition bring many benefits. Indeed, they extend their useful life, prevent air leaks and maintain proper air pressure in your tires so you should absolutely not neglect them when it is time to maintain your summer tires.
This concludes our article on the top 5 things that you need to check for your summer tires maintenance. We hope that reading it will help you to perform better maintenance work on your summer tires to extend their life expectancy and improve your safety while you are driving on road trips this summer.