As summer heats up the U.S., Cooper Tire’s Tread Wisely™ program, a tire and vehicle safety campaign for teens and young adults, wants to ensure young drivers are properly prepared for safe summer driving by checking their tires before they travel. Summer heat can cause pavement temperatures to climb, which can impact tire pressure and ultimately tire performance. To keep tires running smoothly during hot summer months, follow these five steps to ensure proper inflation pressure before hitting the road:
1. Make sure your tires are cool before checking them
Driving heats up tires and can impact getting a proper tire pressure reading. Check air pressure a minimum of three hours after driving. A great time to check is first thing in the morning before driving when both tires and temperatures are cool.
2. Have the right tool
A tire pressure gauge is needed.
3. Find the recommended air pressure
This is located on the vehicle door jamb, glove box, fuel door or the owner’s manual. Tire pressure listed on tire sidewall is maximum pressure, not recommended pressure.
4. Check your tire pressure
Remove the tire’s valve cap and press the tire gauge firmly onto the valve stem. The end of the tire pressure gauge will pop up and show a reading of the pounds per square inch (PSI) of air pressure in the tire.
5. Compare the result
If the number on the tire pressure gauge matches the tire’s recommended pressure, the tire is ready to roll. If the number is lower than the recommended tire pressure, the tire is underinflated. If the reading on the gauge is higher than the pressure recommended, some air needs to be released.
“Outside temperature can impact tire pressure, so you should always be proactive in performing tire safety checks. Check your tire pressure at least monthly and before long road trips, and pay extra attention to your tire pressure during extreme temperatures,” said Bill Geaman, Cooper Tire’s Manager of Consumer Relations. “In addition to checking your tire pressure, your tire tread depth and overall tire condition are critical monthly checks to complete as well. Tire tread is what helps your car safely grip the road, and ensuring there is no damage to your tires – like cuts, cracks, punctures or bulges – helps you avoid issues like a flat tire.”
Videos showing how to check tire pressure, tread depth and overall tire condition, as well as videos on other important vehicle safety topics such as how to change a flat tire, what to do if your check engine light comes on, what to pack in an emergency kit, and more, are available on the Tread Wisely app or at Treadwisely.org.