Auto experts say tires are one of the most important parts on your vehicle.
Yet, they’re often neglected.
That’s according to Chaz Morris at Discount Tire.
He said it’s easy for drivers to forget about their precious wheels, which could pose a big problem during the hot weather months.
"When we see those hundred degree stretches, it can definitely put some stress on the tires that they don’t see in the winter months," Morris said. "Tires are rubber of course. It is an oil based product. In excessive heat and sunlight, that oil starts to dry out. It basically is going to take the elasticity out of it. It’s going to become more brittle."
That can cause tire failure, and worse, accidents.
So, Morris provides these maintenance tips to get eveyone’s tires ready for the dog days of summer.
1. Check your tire’s tread depth.
"Tread depth is going to be how much rubber you have left on the tire between the grooves," Morris said.
When the tread is worn off, it can limit the tires effectiveness in providing traction, compromising your ability to stop and make turns.
You can check your tire’s tread depth by using a penny.
"If you look at where the tread depth meets the penny, it’s covering Abe Lincoln’s head," he said.
If it’s covering his head, that’s a good sign that the tread depth is in good shape.
If there's barely any depth, that means it’s probably time for a new set.
2. Make sure your tire has proper air pressure.
Low tire pressure can lead to poor handling and gas mileage.
Morris said drivers should check their air pressure once a month.
3. Have your tires rotated every 6,000 miles.
"A rotation would be to take the tires off of one axle and rotate them to the opposite axle," Morris said. "Generally, you want to take front tires to the rear, rear tires to the front. On vehicles that may be rear wheel or front wheel drive, they tend to wear the drive axle tires faster, so if you don’t rotate regularly you’re going to run through the tires much more quickly than you should," he said.
4. Check your spare tire.
"Many new vehicles don’t come with spare tires. A lot of people are unaware of that. So checking what’s in your trunk to see if you have a spare tire, what kind of air pressure it has in it, especially the age," Morris said.
5. Don’t overload!
"People like to take their worldly possessions with them when they go on a vacation," Morris said. "If the tires are under inflated and overloaded with too much luggage or too many people, that can cause tire failure."
Even if you have roadside assistance, Morris said knowing how to change a tire is crucial, especially during these hot weather months.
Not sure how to do it? Click here.