Underinflated tires are a leading cause of automobile crashes. Typically, they lead to uneven treads or an overheating, which could result in a flat or a blowout. Keeping your tires properly inflated can make a big difference in your safety. As an added bonus, it also can improve your gas mileage by 3.3 percent.
Follow these tips when checking your tires.
- Look for the sticker. Inside the driver’s-side door there should be a sticker with the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle. If it’s not there, check the owner’s manual.
- Check the tires before you drive. The most accurate readings happen when tires are cold—meaning they haven’t been driven on for three hours.
- Get a good tire pressure gauge. Some newer cars have an in-dash tire pressure monitoring system. If your vehicle doesn’t have this feature, or you want the security of a backup, keep a good pressure gauge in your car. When you unscrew the valve cap on the tire, hold the nozzle firmly and squarely on the valve. Hold it straight, as tilting the gauge will affect the reading. And make sure your valves have caps. (It’s a good idea to store a few extra caps with your gauge.)
- Check your tires once a month. And always check them before taking off on a long trip. Even though colder weather will reduce tire pressure and warmer weather will increase it, you should still inflate or deflate only to the recommend pressure.
To learn more about AOPA’s partnership with Liberty Mutual Insurance or to get a free, no-obligation quote, call 844/749-AOPA or visit us online.
Coverage underwritten and provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116. Reprinted with permission from Liberty Mutual. ©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance