With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, the American Automobile Association (AAA) projects 43.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the weekend. About 90% will travel by car.
The Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. recommends drivers get a head start on holiday travel before hitting the road by using the approaching season as a reminder to engage in routine tire maintenance.
"Tires are the only part of the vehicle connecting drivers and their friends and families to the road during holiday travel," says Johnny Unser, technical consultant for Cooper Tire. "It is important to think ahead and be prepared before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins by taking a few key steps to make sure tires are in good condition."
The Rubber Manufacturers Association indicates that 11% – or about 28 million vehicles – have at least one bald tire, and 55% of vehicles have at least one underinflated tire. Ongoing maintenance is truly critical.
Dealers can advise customers to conduct the following do-it-yourself maintenance checks from Cooper before family road trips this holiday season:
- A tire’s tread should be checked for overall tread depth A tire's minimum tread depth should be more than 2/32 of an inch deep, which can be checked with a U.S. penny; insert into the tread with Lincoln headfirst - if the top of his head is visible at any location on the tire, the tire is worn out. For winter driving, tires should exceed minimum tread depth.
- Look for signs of uneven wear or damage such as cuts, cracks, splits, punctures and bulges.
- Test air pressure following the guidelines in the vehicle owner’s manual or tire placard (or sticker) attached to the vehicle door edge. Air pressure should be checked when the tires are cool.
Should any of these checks reveal the need for required maintenance – or when in doubt about the condition of their tires – drivers should take vehicles to a tire dealer for a professional inspection.
For more information on proper tire maintenance, visit www.coopertire.com.