High temperatures and bad tires don't mix - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

High temperatures and bad tires don't mix

July 7, 2006

Albany-- For those of you not letting gas prices dampen your spirits, this may be the best time of year to hit the road for a much-needed vacation. But with temperatures soaring, it may not be the best time for your tires.  

We've all seen them, tire tread scattered all over the roads and highways as we're traveling. In the summer months, many blowouts come from heat so it's best to make sure your tires can handle the hot pavement.    

Summer and travel go hand in hand.  Just ask Jim Jenkins and his family. "Been on vacation and headed back," says Jenkins.

They're headed back to Warner Robins after making the long trek to the beach. But before they hit the road, Jenkins made sure everything was in tip-top shape. "I always check my oil, check my tires," says Jenkins.

That's a good idea or he could have ended up where many dread, the tire shop.  Expressway Tire and Service has been super busy this summer.

"A lot of tires, tire repairs, separated tires, stuff like that," says Owner Ernest Odom. Stuff like that can come from one thing, the heat.  It's something Ernest Odom says doesn't mix with tires, especially if they're bad.

"We've done temps on tires that come in. They'll be over 200 degrees, sometimes 150 degrees. It gets pretty hot," says Odom. So Odom stresses the importance of three things.  First is air pressure.

"Most tires nowadays unless it's a heavy or extra ply tire, keep 35 pounds in them,"" says Odom.

Next is treading.  Use a tread depth gauge to make sure it isn't close to 4/30 seconds. If you don't have a gauge handy, there's always the old-fashioned way. Use a penny. With pinched fingers, stick it head down in the treading. If you pull it out and can still see Lincoln, it's time for a new tire.

The third tip is to keep the tires rotated.  Safety precautions could prevent the worst from happening.

"Tear your car up, hurt you, sling you off the road, throw you in a ditch," says Odom. That's just what Jenkins doesn't want to happen.

"I know that I've checked it and I know that deep down my family is safe as far as my part is concerned," says Jenkins.  And that gives him piece of mind on the road.  

Now the biggest issue is that blowouts can cause death or serious injuries. If it happens to you, the worst thing you can do is slam on your brakes.  Hold the steering wheel so you don't swerve all over the road and ease off the gas to come to a slow stop.  

Another tip? Although they can be expensive, tire specialists suggest getting new tires every four years.

feedback: news@walb.com?subject=TireSafety

 

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