Cooper Tire encourages drivers to use the changing season as a reminder to check their tires and ensure they’re prepared for the potentially challenging road conditions that autumn weather brings.
This time of year, drivers need to be aware of changing temperatures, increased rain and more debris on the roads.
“It might be surprising to drivers that fall seasonal conditions produce some of the most challenging road hazards,” said Andrea Berryman, Cooper’s Director of Product Development. “Your tires are the only thing connecting you to the road, so ensuring they are properly inflated and have enough tread to allow for optimal braking will help you safely get to your destination.”
On average, tire pressure decreases by about one pound per square inch for every 10°F drop in the temperature. As temperatures fluctuate from chilly nights to warm days, it’s important to regularly check tire pressure rather than relying solely on the TPMS light, which alerts drivers when tire pressure is already too low.
Other fall seasonal hazards include wet roads and slippery debris, such as wet leaves on the roadway. In fact, driving on wet leaves can be like driving on ice – all the more reason tires need good tread, providing traction for braking and to prevent hydroplaning.
Drivers should conduct the following three simple maintenance checks to make sure their tires are in top
condition this fall:
• Check tire inflation pressure: Tire pressure plays a critical role in your tires’ overall performance, and proper inflation allows drivers better control on the road and helps tires wear longer and more evenly. Check your tire pressure using a tire pressure gauge and ensure the pressure in each tire – including your spare – matches the ideal tire pressure for your vehicle, which is listed on the sticker inside your car door, glove box or fuel door, or in the car’s manual.
• Inspect the tread depth: Proper tread depth helps tires maintain traction, improves handling and prevents hydroplaning. Drivers can check this by inserting the edge of a penny into the tread, with Lincoln going in headfirst. If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered, there is an acceptable amount of tread; if the top of his head is visible, then it’s time to replace the tire.
• Check the overall condition: Damaged tires can shorten tire life or cause air loss. Look for cuts, cracks, splits, punctures or bulges on the exterior of the tire. If any of these conditions are spotted, or if you are unsure of the condition of your tires, visit a tire dealer for a professional inspection.
Additionally, colder weather creates potholes in the road and fallen leaves can hide those and other hazards that may cause damage to your tires. “As seasonal weather worsens road conditions, it’s important to check your tires at least once a month,” Berryman said. “Prepare for the fall and winter seasons by making sure you have the right tires on your vehicle – whether those are all-season tires for rain and mild winters or dedicated winter tires if your area experiences heavy snow and freezing temperatures.”