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As fall approaches, car drivers should take a few minutes to check that their tires are safe for driving in deteriorating weather conditions. The extra rain and wind that usually comes with the fall can leave road surfaces slippery, and that can lead to serious collisions. Tire safety includes checking the pressure and treads. These checks take only a few minutes, and they could save your car from damage and your auto insurance policy from an avoidable claim.

Check for Nails and Debris

The first thing to do is perform a quick visual inspection of each of your tires. Look for nails or any type of debris that has become embedded in the walls of your tires. If you hear the sound of rushing air after you’ve pulled nails and debris out of the tire, it should be looked at by a professional. In some cases a quick repair job will save it, but you may need to buy a new one. Make sure you also check for bulges, blisters and small holes, which can all deteriorate very quickly. 

Checking the Treads

The majority of modern tires have simple tread indicators built into them. These are small sections of rubber that run at 90-degree angles to the treads. When they are visible, it is time to change the tire. The legal limit for tread depths in most states is a 16th of an inch. Another easy way to check that your tires are still legal involves the use of a penny. Insert Lincoln’s head in the slot between two grooves; if the top of Lincoln’s head is still visible, the tire is illegal and should be changed immediately.

Checking Tire Pressure

Most manufacturers recommend that tire pressures are checked at least once every month. However, it is also good practice to check them before long journeys, and weekly checks are preferable during periods of bad weather. Even a good quality tire can lose at least 1 psi of pressure every month, so regular checks are essential. 

In order to check your tire pressure at home, the purchase of a simple pressure gauge will be required. When the tires are cold, insert the gauge into the tire’s valve, and the gauge should do the rest. The figure displayed should then be compared to the car manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure, which will either be in the car’s manual or on the inside of the driver’s door. While there is a psi reading on the wall of most tires, this should be ignored. The car determines the appropriate pressure not the tire.

A car’s tires are critical to its overall safety. The checks required are always essential, but particularly at a time of year when the weather starts to take a turn for the worse. Looking after your car is a critical part of avoiding accidents and collisions, and it could keep your insurance premiums to a minimum. 

If you want to discuss Millersport insurance with an expert, give Tom Jones Insurance a call at 740-467-2040, and one of our insurance agents will be happy to discuss your options with you.

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