Seasonal Care Tips

As seasons change, so do driving conditions. Prepare for safer travels in all kinds of weather with tire care and driving tips for spring, summer, fall and winter.

Seasonal Tire Care Tips

SPRING
 

April showers bring May flowers—along with wet driving conditions and damaging potholes.

USTMA reminds you to check the pressure and tread of your tires (including the spare) at least once a month and before every long trip. And please consider the following to help you arrive safely at your destination:

  • Wet roads can require up to four times the normal stopping distance as dry ones. Rainwater that mixes with oil or grime on the streets can also cause slippery conditions that may result in unexpected skidding. Slow down and prepare to stop sooner.
  • Make sure you have the alignment and balance of your tires checked regularly so that if you do skid, your vehicle is properly equipped to help you stop safely.
  • Rotating your tires helps tires to wear evenly, which helps them to last. . Refer to your car’s owner’s manual for rotation recommendations. If no rotation period is specified, the general rule is every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.
  • In a sudden downpour, driving fast or driving on worn tires can cause your tires to hydroplane—or “surf” along on a film of water like a water skier. Drive slower and make sure that your tread depth is adequate. (link to checking tread)
  • Hitting potholes can throw your car’s front end out of alignment. If you feel your car “pulling” to the right or left during driving, that’s a clue that you could have a problem. Check the tread on your tires; uneven tread wear can be a sign of misalignment. If you hit a severe pothole, have a tire dealer check your vehicle’s alignment and tire balance as soon as possible.
  • When you hit a pothole, you can damage your tire and/or the metal wheel of your vehicle. Keep your tires properly inflated to reduce damage from potholes and other road hazards.
  • Pothole damage to tires increases dramatically with speed and can cause hidden, internal problems that may not reveal themselves for weeks or months. Have any pothole damage checked out as soon as possible.
  • If you can’t avoid a pothole entirely, don’t brake during impact. This sets up the tire and wheel assembly for a solid hit against the edge of the pothole. Instead, apply your brakes before hitting a pothole and release them just prior to impact. This causes the tire to roll, rather than skid, over a pothole, for less severe damage.
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