“Tire safety is one of our highest priorities as a company, and we want to ensure nobody has their vacation or road trip interrupted by an unexpected tire issue,” says John Hagan, executive vice president of sales for Nexen Tire America Inc.
Nexen says motorists who are preparing for summer road trips should focus on tire inflation pressure, visual tire inspection and balancing, alignment and rotation.
Nexen calls checking inflation pressure levels “the first step in maintaining tires for safety and longevity. Ensure each tire is properly inflated to the vehicle’s recommended cold tire pressure, which is found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual and (is) often on a label inside the driver’s door jamb."
Visual inspection of tires also is important. “One way to determine how much tread is left is by looking at built-in ‘treadwear indicators.' These are raised sections that run in-between the tire's tread and when the tread is worn down to the same height as the treadwear indicator, it’s time for new tires."
Balancing, alignment and rotation can help reduce irregular tire wear while optimizing fuel efficiency, according to Nexen. “Drivers should rotate their tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles or even sooner, if showing signs of uneven wear. While many standard vehicles use four of the same-size tires, certain performance vehicles have different tire and rim sizes on the front and rear, preventing tires from being rotated. This information can be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or at a local tire dealer.”
Vehicle owners also should be aware of how old their tires are. “Tire age is easily one of the most overlooked issues when it comes to tire maintenance. As tires age, their rubber construction and other important safety features decrease, and this can be accelerated due to storage or environmental conditions.
“Most vehicles are driven enough to replace their tires on a regular basis. However, some vehicles, like RVs, large passenger vans, collector cars and trailers, could be at risk. Moreover, infrequent use, constant exposure to sunlight and poor storage can rapidly increase tire aging.
"Lastly, drivers should ensure their tires are not too old by checking the manufacture date on the sidewall of tire. It is recommended tires be replaced no more than five years from this date.”