By Tim Jimenez,
During the summer months, AAA urges those hitting the road to make sure their tires are up to speed.

“You’re driving on very, very hot roads. It’s definitely going to have a substantial impact,” explained AAA Mechanic Richard Santiago to “Heat friction definitely causes a lot more pressure to build up inside of the tire.”

AAA Mid-Atlantic says tire-related calls are among the most common they get this time of year. When summer is set and done, the organization expects to have handled 20,000 such calls in Philadelphia and the suburbs. Santiago says tire pressure is a critical aspect to maintain.

“(Tires) should never be under inflated or over inflated which can cause a significant impact whether it be from tire treadwear or stability and traction on the road,” Santiago said.

AAA says overinflated tires increase the chances of a blowout. And if the tire is underinflated, the tread will wear down more quickly and the car’sgas mileage will also suffer.

And with Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) now common in many vehicles, Santiago believes you shouldn’t just think of the light as an annoyance.

“Although it’s relatively common for that light to come on, it’s still coming on for a reason so we highly suggest that you would rather be safe than sorry and get it checked out,” he said.

You don’t have to be a car expert to make sure your tires are doing alright either.

“When you’re looking at your tires you want to make sure the tread and all of that rubber is wearing at an even standpoint from the inside part all the way to the outside,” Santiago explains. “If you notice any uneven patterns that means that you probably have an alignment issue or maybe the inflation is wrong.”

As for the tread, Santiago explains the common “Penny Test”

“One way that you can check to make sure you get the proper traction on the road and also just know when you’re due for a replacement of tires. You can use a standard penny. You’ll use Lincoln’s head as the indicator. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head that means that you’re due for a replacement of tires, you’re almost getting to that stage where you’re not gonna get any traction on the road. If you can see a little bit of his head that definitely means that you’re almost there to get a replacement.”

A little work now, Santiago says, will save you time, energy and cash later.


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