Tire Safety: What you need to know before hitting the road

School's out and more families are planning summer vacations and weekend getaways. But with the hot weather comes increased risk to your vehicle.

As triple-digit temperatures begin to become more prevalent throughout Central Texas, the heat is beginning to take a toll on tires.

"They experience more trouble during the summer because of the heat and tire wear. It's very important to get your tire checked every 5,000 miles, when you get your vehicle serviced. It's very important to have the correct tire pressure if you run your pressure too low or too high," explained Cantu, who works for Charles Maund Toyota in Austin.

Cantu said the tire pressure fluctuates with the heat, which can create safety issues for vehicles.

"It's very important to have the correct tire pressure. You can run into problems if you run your tire pressure too low or too high," Cantu said.

He recommended the ideal tire pressure was about 33 PSI (pounds per square inch). You're advised to check your owner's manual for your vehicle's specific tire pressure.

Checking the tire pressure, as well as your tires for any holes or punctures, could make all the difference.

In August 2015, five people were killed and four others were injured when the tired on the vehicle they were driving in blew out in Mustang Ridge.

Outside the sheer pressure, as construction continues on main roadways, Cantu warned drivers to be careful of nails.

"Every tire that has a puncture needs to be dismounted and inspected for damage. Because sometimes there's damage on the inside that can't be seen from the outside," Cantu explained.

Any puncture within one inch of the sidewall is non-repairable.

"A bolt in there, bigger than 1/8 (inch) is probably not going to be repairable," said Cantu.

While you may not have the same tools as the professionals, you can easily pick up a tire depth gauge at your local body shop.  

Once your tires hit 30,000 miles, Cantu said you should use it regularly to check pressure.  If the gauge shows in the red, you need to change your tires.

There are several other factors that play into a tire's lifespan, including the road you drive on. Cantu said those who typically drive on gravel roads are more likely to need to change their tires sooner. 

 

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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