The number one factor in tire failure is improper inflation. It’s recommended to inflate your tires to the maximum PSI stamped on the sidewall. The trick however, is to be aware of how the elements affect tire pressure. Higher elevations increase tire pressure as does warmer temperatures. When traveling you should check your tires prior to setting out on the trip and each day before hitting the road – always when they are “cold” and that means before moving the vehicle. Take this opportunity to do a visual inspection, keeping an eye out for unusual tire wear, bulging, cracking, etc.
Another interesting and important fact is that ST tires have a maximum speed rating of 65 MPH. Drive faster than that and risk tire failure. That’s because as heat builds up the tire’s structure starts to disintegrate and weaken. The load carrying capacity gradually decreases as the heat and stresses generated by higher speed increases. Plan enough time to get there without a tire mishap.
Bring and use tire covers for stays longer than a weekend – UV rays accelerate tire disintegration. Use only soap and water to clean your tires. Never – and I mean never – use a product with petroleum distillates on your tires. Again, this will degrade your tires.
Before leaving on your trip check your spare (when checking your other tires) and properly inflate it. Make sure you have all the pieces of your jack system and know how to use it.
Do yourself and those you share the road with a favor – make your tires your number one priority. Be slow, be prepared, be safe. The simple fact is that each one of us does have a lot riding on our tires. See you on the road…hopefully not on the side of the road.