Before you head off on a cross-country road trip, you'll want to have your tires checked and serviced. This will reduce the risk of a flat or other problems while you're on the road. Good tires are not only important for safety, but they also help your car get better gas mileage, and they help your car handle better on wet roads. Here are some of the things you'll want your mechanic to check when your tires are serviced.
The Depth Of The Tread
Tread depth is important for safety. When the tread is worn down, your car doesn't grip the road as well, and the tires become a safety hazard. Not only that, but the tire is also at increased risk of a flat or blow out. The mechanic can check the depth of the tread with a gauge and determine if the tires are fit for a long road trip. If not, you may need new tires before you head out.
Signs Of Damage And Old Age
Even new tires can be damaged if you regularly hit potholes or scrape curbs. Tires can also be worn down unevenly if you don't keep them inflated properly. If your tires have uneven wear or if there are cracks or other signs of damage that might pose problems on a road trip, your mechanic may need to replace the tires. Also, if the tires are old, your mechanic may recommend replacing them even if they don't have signs of damage. The age of the tires is stamped on the side, so your mechanic will know if they are old enough to be at risk on a road trip. If you need one tire changed, your mechanic may recommend replacing all of them, or at least replacing two at a time, so your car handles evenly.
Air Pressure Reading
After your tires have been serviced, whether they were replaced or rotated, balanced, and aligned, the mechanic makes sure they are filled to the recommended air pressure. Maintaining air pressure is important so you'll even want to check it during your trip when you stop for gas. Ask your mechanic to show you how to test the pressure if you don't know how and buy an inexpensive gauge for your car so you can test it wherever you are. Although your car warning light will probably come on when your tire is low, this is a signal of a problem that needs immediate attention and not a suggestion it's time to add more air.
Once your tires have been serviced, you can have peace of mind when you're driving on strange roads. However, to be as safe as possible, avoid overloading your car with too much weight and try to be gentle when driving over railroad tracks, bumpy roads, and potholes.
For more information, contact your local tire service.