Underinflation is the leading cause of tire failure, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).
"We all want our families to be safe and secure on the road, and that begins with proper vehicle care and maintenance," said Doug Herberger, GM North America vice president and general manager of Service and Parts Operations. "Although today's tires are more technologically advanced than ever before, regular visual inspections and maintenance are critical to enabling tires to perform at their best."
What Causes A Tire
To Blow Out?
Besides obvious road hazards such as potholes and road debris, improper air pressure can cause a tire to blow out or fail.
Underinflation or overloading creates excessive stresses and heat, and can lead to tire failure, which could result in a crash leading to vehicle damage, serious injury or even death, according to the RMA. The Association adds that proper inflation extends tire life and saves fuel.
Drivers can help prevent potential tire failures with expert advice and service from their dealership.
Tire Tips from Mr. Goodwrench
Blowouts: If your tire sustains a blowout while you are driving, do not slam on your brakes. Slamming on your brakes can cause the vehicle to swerve in the direction of the blowout. Instead, gently apply the brakes to regain control and slowly guide the vehicle to a safe area away from the road.
Air Pressure: Tires lose air through the process of permeation. Changes in outdoor temperature can affect the rate at which a tire loses air. Typically, a tire loses one pound to two pounds of pressure per month, and even more in warm weather.
To help avoid underinflation, the RMA recommends checking the air pressure in your tires at least once a month and before every long trip. Tires must be checked when they are cold- that is, before they have been run no more than one mile (1.6 km).
Never "bleed" or reduce air pressure when tires are hot. It is normal for pressures to build up as a result of driving.
GM Goodwrench encourages consumers to visit their local dealership for an inspection to ensure that their vehicle is up to date on its maintenance needs. The inspections can point out items needing service-service that can help a vehicle run better, last longer, retain its value and provide optimal safety and security.
For more information, visit www.goodwrench.com.
Editor's Note: Although the information in this story is good at anytime, April is Car Care Month.