Operations Newsletter

June 2018

Tire Safety

Everything Rides On It

Studies of tire safety show that maintaining proper tire pressure, observing tire and vehicle load limits (not carrying more weight in your vehicle than your tires or vehicle can safely handle), avoiding road hazards, and inspecting tires for cuts, slashes, and other irregularities are the most important things you can do to avoid tire failure, such as tread separation or blowout and flat tires.

These actions, along with other care and maintenance activities, can also:

  • Improve vehicle handling
  • Help protect you and others from avoidable breakdowns and accidents
  • Improve fuel economy
  • Increase the life of your tires

Safety First–Basic Tire Maintenance

Properly maintained tires improve the steering, stopping, traction, and load-carrying capability of your vehicle. Underinflated tires and over-loaded vehicles are a major cause of tire failure. Therefore, as mentioned above, to avoid flat tires and other types of tire failure, you should maintain proper tire pressure, observe tire and vehicle load limits, avoid road hazards, and regularly inspect your tires.

Understanding Tire Pressure and Load Limits

Tire inflation pressure is the level of air in the tire that provides it with load-carrying capacity and affects the overall performance of the vehicle. The tire inflation pressure is a number that indicates the amount of air pressure– measured in pounds per square inch (psi)–a tire requires to be properly inflated. (You will also find this number on the vehicle information placard expressed in kilopascals (kPa), which is the metric measure used internationally.) Manufacturers of passenger vehicles and light trucks determine this number based on the vehicle’s design load limit, that is, the greatest amount of weight a vehicle can safely carry and the vehicle’s tire size. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is referred to as the “recommended cold inflation pressure.” (As you will read below, it is difficult to obtain the recommended tire pressure if your tires are not cold.) Because tires are designed to be used on more than one type of vehicle, tire manufactur-ers list the “maximum permissible inflation pres-sure” on the tire sidewall. This number is the great-est amount of air pressure that should ever be put in the tire under normal driving conditions.

Steps for Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure

  • Step 1: Locate the recommended tire pressure on the vehicle’s tire information placard, certification label, or in the owner’s manual.
  • Step 2: Record the tire pressure of all tires.
  • Step 3: If the tire pressure is too high in any of the tires, slowly release air by gently pressing on the tire valve stem with the edge of your tire gauge until you get to the correct pressure.
  • Step 4: If the tire pressure is too low, note the difference between the measured tire pres-sure and the correct tire pressure. These “missing” pounds of pressure are what you will need to add.
  • Step 5: At a service station, add the missing pounds of air pressure to each tire that is under-inflated.
  • Step 6: Check all the tires to make sure they have the same air pressure (except in cases in which the front and rear tires are supposed to have different amounts of pressure).

 

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Please email your suggestions to:  newsletter@operationbbqrelief.org

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