Tires are one of the most important safety features on a car – after all, tires are the only part of your car that actually touch the road, which makes them pretty important right?
When driving, your tires keep you going where you want to go, so when it comes to travel safety, you're only as safe as your tires are! Tire Safety Week is always celebrated the last week of May, but tire safety knows no season, so Nexen Tire is using the month of June to continue safety awareness as you begin your travel plans this summer.
We have 10 simple tire tips from Nexen and AskPatty to help ensure you're getting the most out of your tires, no matter the time of year!
1) Check ‘em out!
Perform a visual inspection to see if you need new tires.
Turn your tires out so you can see the whole tread area, then give them a spin. Look for poor tread wear, cracked sidewalls, or bulges. Abnormal wear patterns usually indicate the need for simple tire maintenance, or for front-end alignment. Find out more about tread wear pattern here.
2) Properly inflated tires save you at the gas pump!
Check tire pressures monthly with a quality air pressure gauge and keep them filled to the vehicle’s manufacturer specifications listed in your manual or inside your vehicle's doorjamb.
Improper inflation can cause uneven tread wear, shorten lifespan and decrease your car’s responsiveness. Under-inflated tires offer less traction, wear out prematurely, and most importantly suffer unnoticeable and irreparable damage that compromises performance.
In addition, keeping your tire pressure at the recommended level can boost fuel efficiency by about a mile per gallon. The Department of Transportation estimates that 5 million gallons of fuel per day are wasted due to low tire pressure.
3) Check your tire tread!
Tire traction is the key to good accelerating, turning, and stopping under any conditions, but especially on wet surfaces. Tires should be replaced when they are worn down to 2/32-inch of tread.
A simple way to test this is to use a penny: Just place the penny in the shallowest tread groove with Lincoln's head pointing down. Check in a few different places. If you're able to see the top of his head, it's time to visit your nearest NEXEN Dealer for new tires. If you want to be extra cautious and replace your tires at 4/32-inch of remaining tread depth, use a quarter instead of a penny and follow the same principle. If the top of Washington’s head is showing you have reached 4/32’s of an inch.
4) Blowouts can be scary
Blowouts don’t have to end in tragedy, so here’s what to do. First: Just keep calm! Keep the steering wheel straight and avoid the desire to panic-stomp on the brakes.
Instead, allow the car to slow itself to slower than 30 mph before performing any steering maneuvers. Ironically, a short burst on the accelerator is better, if you can remember to think of it. Just pump on your brakes lightly, in small bursts, long enough to stabilize the vehicle and counter-affect some of the drag created by the blown tire.
5) Leave some space!
When driving in wet weather, be sure to leave extra space between you and the car in front of you.
Give yourself extra room to brake: If you love your car and your passengers, don’t tailgate. Give yourself extra time to reach your destination, too. You'll save your sanity and arrive safely if you leave a little earlier than usual when the roads are wet. And remember, blocking that car from merging in front of you is not as important as your safety.
6) How old are your tires?
If they are more than five years old, they should be professionally inspected and may likely need replacing.
Tire rubber expires just like anything else. The life expectancy of a tire before breakdown occurs is approximately 5 or 6 years. Check the manufacturer’s date on the sidewall to see when the tire was manufactured. This is included in the Department of Transportation (DOT) number that is embossed on the tire. For example, in the last section of the DOT number, the very last two digits indicate the year the tire was manufactured and the preceding two digits represent the week. The DOT numbers are used by the Department of Transportation to help track the tire in case of a recall.
7) Rotate tires regularly
Regular rotation helps extend the life of your tires, saving time and money in the long run.
For rotation, each tire and wheel is removed from your vehicle and moved to a different position in a special crisscross pattern depending on the tire pattern. This is done because the front tires wear out quicker than the rear tires due to steering and a heavy engine. Rotating your tires will help your tires wear evenly and last longer. Tires should be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. Tire rotation also includes tire balancing with specialized machinery and should only be performed by a tire professional. Rotations can be done at your local oil lube station, mechanic shop, or dealership.
8) Keep proper vehicle alignment!
Proper alignment helps ensure that your vehicle handles correctly and will help increase the life and performance of your tires.
Alignment generally refers to the adjustment of a vehicle's front and rear suspension parts so your vehicle doesn’t pull to the left or right when you’re driving. Alignments can be done in conjunction with a tire rotation at your local oil lube stations or mechanic shop. Learn more about proper alignment here at AskPatty.com
9) Be a smooth operator!
Slick road surfaces will exaggerate any movement. If the road is slippery with snow or ice -- or just plain water -- and you brake too hard, turn too hard, or drive too fast, you can easily go into a skid.
Accelerate, brake, and steer as if you had a full cup of hot coffee on the dashboard. Abrupt actions that would spill the coffee could also cause a loss of control. Smooth operation is also one of the best ways to improve fuel mileage. Learn more about driving in wet weather conditions here at AskPatty.com
10) Why worry about warranties?
Product warranties are a signal of the company's confidence in their product: After all, if their product doesn't last the contracted use period, the company has to pay back consumers for their losses. Consumers should view these warranties like quality guarantees: a longer warranty should indicate a better-quality product, right?
We’ve compared the plans, and believe Nexen Tire America has the best tire warranty in the industry with the Nexen Total Coverage Warranty™. In addition to the typical workmanship and defect protection, the Nexen Total Coverage Warranty also gives consumers a generous tread wear mileage warranty, a road hazard warranty, and a convenient roadside assistance policy. As explained earlier, their generous tire warranty is designed to protect the value of your tire purchase and ensure its quality, but it also provides assurance when hazards do occur, and frees you from worry if it happens.
Find out more about the Nexen Total Coverage Warranty at www.NexenTireUSA.com/about/warranty
For more information or service regarding NEXEN Tire America, visit www.NexenTireUSA.com and use the Dealer Finder to locate your nearest Authorized Nexen Dealer. You can also call the toll-free technical support number: 1-800-57-NEXEN (63936) / 1-866-70-NEXEN (63936). Follow NEXEN Tire on Facebook and Twitter for details on tire and car care tips, exciting contests, and more.
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