Most of us don’t think too much about our tires. They’re round, they roll, and help our car get from point A to point B. But if you’ve been following our Resource Centre you know by now that we’re pretty passionate about the impact tires have on your vehicle’s safety.
You’ve heard of tire blowouts. Or the bursting of a tire and rapid loss of air pressure, followed by a flap, flap, flap noise, and difficult handling of your vehicle. Most tire blowouts are attributed to low air pressure. This causes tire heating and rubber failure or if the pressure is real low the rim will dig into the tire’s liner, compromising the structure.
Air pressure and visual inspections
Maintaining proper air pressure is key. According to Transport Canada, you should be checking your tire pressure monthly as well as prior to long excursions.
Check your tires’ pressure when they’re cold. You’ll get the most accurate readings in the morning or when your vehicle has been at rest for at least three hours. Ensure your reading aligns with the manufacturer’s safety specifications found inside your driver’s side door or glove compartment.
We also suggest a visual inspection of your tires once a week. If you spot a sagging sidewall, don’t operate your vehicle on the tire. Most tire blowouts are the result of a slow leak which shows up as low air pressure (hence sagging sidewall) upon visual inspection. It’s best to have this tire checked by an expert to determine if the overall structural integrity has been compromised. Most of our over 240 locations across Canada offer 24-hour roadside assistance that can help in this kind of situation.
Tire pressure monitoring systems
Installed by the factory, tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are a safety device designed to alert drivers to an underinflated tire. The most common systems use a sensor mounting inside the tire to measure tire pressure directly and then transmits this information wirelessly to on-board electronics.
TPMS warning lights are designed to indicate when a tire is 25 per cent below its designated PSI. Inflating the tire to the recommended tire pressure found on the door placard should trigger the light to turn off. Remember that one or more of the tires may be low in pressure, so you should always check the pressure in all of your tires.
Regular inspections of your tires will ensure you catch damage or signs of wear-and-tear early. If you’re seeing cracks, bulges, penetrations or abrasions, it’s probably time for a replacement.
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