If you have ever been stuck in a remote area with a flat tire, you know the real feeling of being alone. Before you get the jack out, (assuming you know where it is), you might just wonder when the last time you checked the tire pressure was. In reality, there’s never a good time or place for a flat tire. The most common reason for a sudden blow out is driving on a tire that isn’t properly inflated. Low tire pressure increases the tire’s correct operating temperature, which reduces grip. In addition, low tire pressure puts additional stress on the sidewalls to cause the support belts in the side walls to possibly separate. So reducing your chances of having a sudden blow out is pretty simple. First, it’s important that you check the air pressure of each tire once a month. Pick a day like the first Saturday to check. New vehicles now have automatic tire proper pressure system as standard equipment. So, if one of the idiots glows, take a few minutes from your busy day and fill the tire to the right pressure.
For those drivers with an older vehicle, you should make it a habit of checking the air pressure of each tire as well as the spare tire at least once a month. Also, take an extra minute to inspect the tires. Is the tread still good for another month or are they getting a bit thin. If the spare is over six years, replace it. Tire rubber will slowly break down, develop micro-fissures and could fail at the wrong moment. Second, if you replace one tire, be sure that it is constructed of the same material and tread design as the other three tires. The mixing of radial and bias ply tires or of different tread design will alter the handling characteristics of the vehicle as well as put stress on all the tires. Third, front wheel alignment should be checked every time you change the oil, or notice the car not tracking straight when driving along the road. To summarize… if the unfortunate were to happen and you have to change tires in the middle of nowhere, it’s nice to know that the spare will serve its purpose as intended.