In honor of the tenth annual National Tire Safety Week, June 5 - 11, The Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: "PBY") are offering motorists four helpful tips to guarantee that drivers steer clear of unwanted summer mishaps on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), underinflated tires are responsible for 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries each year. A simple, easy to perform, monthly tire pressure check only takes five minutes and can help avoid any unwanted vehicle complications and reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on the road this year.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and Pep Boys suggest drivers use the acronym "PART" (Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread) as a way to ensure proper tire safety and inflation when regularly checking their vehicle's tires.
It's important to have the proper inflation pressure in tires, as under-inflation can lead to tire failure. The "right amount" of inflation is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on the vehicle's door sill, glove box door or fuel door as well as listed in the vehicle owner's manual.
* Check inflation pressure at least once a month and before long trips. Always check tires when cool. After driving, tires need at least 3 hours to cool.
* Remember to check the spare tire as well.
* Visually inspect the tires to make sure there are no nails or other objects embedded that could poke a hole in the tire and cause an air leak. Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities.
* Tire inflation pressure increases (in warm weather) or decreases (in cold weather) 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.
Misalignment of wheels in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid tread wear and should be corrected by a tire dealer. Have the alignment checked periodically as specified by the vehicle owner's manual or whenever there is an indication of trouble such as "pulling." Also check tire balance periodically.
Tire rotation can prevent irregular tire wear. Always refer to the vehicle owner's manual for rotation recommendations. If no rotation period is specified, tires should be rotated approximately every 5,000 –8,000 miles. (NOTE: After rotation, make sure inflation pressure is set to the vehicle manufacturer's specification.)
Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch. Traction, particularly in bad weather, and resistance to hydroplaning is reduced as tires wear. An easy test: place a penny upside down into a tread groove. If part of Lincoln's head is covered by the tread, there is a proper amount of tread. If all of Lincoln's head is visible, a new tire purchase is recommended.
Built-in tread wear indicators or "wear bars" will appear on the tire when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch. When the top of the "wear bars" are flush with the tire tread, the tire is worn out and needs to be replaced. Visually check tires for signs of irregular tread wear, such as high and low areas or unusually smooth areas. Consult a tire dealer as soon as possible.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
Vehicles equipped with TPMS can help motorists detect loss of inflation pressure. Federal regulations require TPMS to warn drivers when tires are 25 percent under inflated. For many vehicles this warning may be too late to prevent damage caused by under inflation. TPMS units are NOT a replacement for monthly tire pressure checks with a gauge.
Properly inflated tires help promote better fuel economy, saving money and possibly saving lives. Stop by any Pep Boys location during National Tire Safety week, or any other day of the year, to inquire about tire safety. Pep Boys has experts on hand to answer any questions and offers free tire pressure checks year-round.
About Pep Boys
Pep Boys has approximately 7,000 service bays with more than 700 locations in 35 states and Puerto Rico. Along with its vehicle repair and maintenance capabilities, the Company also serves the commercial auto parts delivery market and is one of the leading sellers of replacement tires in the United States. Customers can find the nearest location by calling 1-800-PEP-BOYS or by visiting http://www.pepboys.com.