55% of Vehicles Have At Least One Under Inflated Tire
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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 3, 2011 – Record-setting heat across the U.S. can add to the risk of tire failure for overloaded vehicles with under inflated tires driving at highway speeds.
“Heat is the enemy of a tire,” said Dan Zielinski, senior vice president, public affairs for the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). “Under inflated tires generate excess heat that, over time, can cause damage and lead to a failure.”
A 2010 RMA survey found more than half of all vehicles have at least one under inflated tire. One in seven vehicles had a tire under inflated by 8 pounds per square inch (psi).
“Tires are built to last tens of thousands of miles but they can’t take unlimited abuse,” Zielinski said. “The air in your tires is carrying you, your family, your cargo and your car’s weight. When under inflated, a tire is over-stressed because it cannot support that load. Neglect your tire pressure for too long, particularly during the hottest time of the year and you’re inviting potential trouble.”
RMA operates a national education program — Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART — to raise awareness about the importance of tire maintenance. PART is an acronym that stands for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread – the four basic elements of tire care.
Pressure – Check tire pressure every month and before long trips. Check tires when cold — before you drive. Use the correct inflation pressure that is found on a label on the driver’s door or check the owner’s manual.
Alignment – Misaligned wheels can cause premature tire wear. Have alignment checked periodically or if you notice your vehicle “pulling” to the left or right. Hitting a pothole or curb could affect your wheel alignment.
Rotation – Rotate tires every 5,000-8,000 miles or check your owner’s manual for a specific interval. Rotation helps tires wear evenly.
Tread – Inspect tread for damage every month when checking tire pressure. To ensure sufficient tread depth, do the penny test. Take a penny, insert upside down into tread groove. If you see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.
“Checking tires is simple and takes just five minutes,” Zielinski said. “If you don’t do it yourself, tens of thousands of tire retailers will do it for you free of charge. There’s no reason to skimp on tire care.”
Visit our YouTube Channel for tire care tips: http://www.youtube.com/user/BeTireSmartRMA
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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S. All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.