Disclosure: This post is part of a hosted stay. All opinions are my own.
Road trip season is upon us, and if you are getting ready to hit the road, you’ll need to make sure that your car is ready for the journey. Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the Cooper Tires test facility to learn more about tires and test drive a variety of cars and tire configurations. Here are some great tips to follow to keep your car’s tires in great shape for your next family road trip.
Check tires regularly
Most of us don’t think about checking our tires regularly, but it’s important for both safety and gas efficiency. Often, just looking at the tires isn’t a great way to judge pressure. Use a tire gauge to regularly check pressure in all four tires (they absolutely can differ). You can find the recommended pressure (which is set by the automobile manufacturer and not the tire company) in the door jam of your car. If possible, check in the morning before you drive on the tires for the day, and try to check them monthly or if the tire looks low.
You’ll also want to check the tire tread. Again, check all four tires and if possible, check multiple spots on the tire, because they could wear down unevenly. For the most accurate check, use a tire tread depth gauge which you can purchase at any automotive store. But you can also use a penny to do a quick check. Insert the penny in the tire as shown in the photo below, and if part of Lincoln’s head is covered, you have an acceptable amount of tread remaining. Cooper’s new CS5 has a wear square with a visual indicator that shows when the tire’s tread wears down.
Professional Tire Maintenance
Although there are things you can do yourself, it’s important that you also get your tires professional checked and maintained. By putting your car on a lift and inspecting the whole tire, mechanics can identify important issues based upon how your tires are wearing. In addition, you’ll want to get your tires rotated so they wear down more evenly.
Getting Ready for New Tires
Most of us don’t enjoy buying new tires, and wait until the very last minute. Knowing when you’ll need to replace them is important information to have. That way, you’ll be able to do research in advance to decide exactly which tires are best for your vehicle and lifestyle. In addition, tire manufacturers (including Cooper) often rebates. You can save money by purchasing tires at specific times, not just the minute you need them.
About Cooper Tires
Cooper Tires, which is celebrating their 100 year anniversary this year, is the 11th largest global tire company and the 5th largest in the US. Next week, I’ll be posting my experiences at the test facility – stay tuned.