Are You a Tire Super-Mom?
A recent survey of U.S. mothers conducted by Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, in partnership with Cars.com and Motherproof.com, revealed that moms should consider maintaining their tires as an important opportunity when they think of "keeping their children safe" for their everyday road trips.
Although safety ranked highest as the category mothers pay the most attention to overall, less than one percent of responses reported automotive maintenance as a tactic to help ensure their child's safety. This is not really surprising news, but it is serious! We've said it before on the Ask Patty blog: your tires are the only part of your car that touch the road. Car safety begins right there! As a result, the Cooper Tire and AskPatty.com teams have joined forces, bringing you the ultimate Super-Mom's Guide to Tires.
Now, first of all – we get it. You're a Super-Mom! You've got dinners to plan, track meets to attend, kids to pick up, deadlines to meet, and a job to do. You have plenty on your mind being a superhero for your family – but keeping that family safe is your number one priority, of course, and we have good news for you. Tire safety is easy! Being an informed mom or parent is the best protection you can have against any unforeseen problems. Let's take a look at some top tire maintenance tips so you can get back to what you do best – saving the day!
Tread Depth. Again, as the only part of your car touching the road, tires wear over time. This comes as no real surprise to even the novice Super-Mom, but when was the last time you actually checked your tread depth? Visual inspections are good, but usually not enough. Here's the facts on tire tread:
1. Use a penny. Place a penny upside down in the most shallow tread groove. Your tread depth should be greater than the distance from the top of the penny to the top of Lincoln's head. That's 2/32nds of an inch, and it's the minimum recommended tread depth you should be driving on. If it's even or not enough, then it's time for new tires.
2. Check all four tires. Tires don't always wear evenly. Your front tires will tend to wear more quickly than the rear unless you rotate them often. Check all four tires and your spare for a complete picture of your Super-Mom safety status.
3. Check in multiple places on each tire. Just as all four tires don't always wear evenly, tires don't always wear evenly on the surface either. If your tire tread seems to wear evenly, you're probably fine, but uneven wear patterns can be a sign of some other issues. For instance: overinflated tires tend to wear only in the middle. Under-inflated tires will wear along the edges. If one side of a particular tire has more wear, you could have an alignment issue to look into.
4. Rotate those tires. To ensure even wear and prolong the life of your tires, they should be rotated regularly. Every other oil change is usually a good benchmark for tire rotation. It's inexpensive and could add years to the life of your tires.
Tire Pressure. We all have one, or maybe several. Get that tire gauge out of your drawer and put it where it belongs: in the trusty Super-Mom Utility Belt! The tire gauge is an important safety tool, plus it's an important economic tool too! Let's take a look:
1. Check that pressure. If you've never checked your tire pressure before, it's time for some practice. First you'll want to remove the valve stem cover. Then, you'll place the tire gauge's intake straight down onto the valve stem. If it hisses loudly, you don't have a good seal. You should hear a very brief hiss, and then the gauge's measurement stick should pop out. You'll have to be firm – use that Super-Mom grip. Once you've done it, do it a few more times. It's not just good practice, it's good to gauge tire pressure several times to avoid a bad read.
2. How to read the gauge. Now that you've learned how to properly apply the tire gauge to the tire, you're faced with a little plastic ruler that seems to have foreign writing on it – but don't fret! The inscrutable language of the tire gauge is well within your reach. Simply read the number on the stick and compare it with the number that is recommended by your car's manufacturer. Your tire's pounds per square inch (or PSI) is measured by the notches on the gauge.
3. How much PSI? The first thing you'll want to do is determine how much pressure your tires should have. You may be tempted to look at the tire's sidewall. Resist that urge! Stay calm. Open the driver's side door and you'll probably see a label on the inside. On that label you'll find proper tire inflation values for your car! If you don't have a label inside your door or on the glove box door, it's time to turn to the utility belt again – for the Owner's Manual. If your tires are under that mark, you'll want to add some air, so it's time for a trip to the local fuel station that has an air pump. If they're overinflated, your job is simpler. Simply use the metal pin on the back of the tire gauge's head to let some air out! Re-gauge often until the pressure is just right in all four tires. Also, be sure to check your air pressure while the tires are cold.
4. Proper tire pressure can save you money. Having your tires properly inflated is important not only for safety (under- or overinflated tires can be very risky on the road!), but for the purse as well. Properly inflated tires not only wear evenly and therefore last longer, but they also improve your gas mileage. That means more trips to the supermarket, the soccer field, the school, the mall, and beyond – without all the extra fill-ups.
How about the spare? Now that you've applied your Super-Mom brand of justice to all four of your car's tires, it's time to delve into the underworld, and do the same for the spare. Take note that in the case of a small “donut” style spare tire, the proper PSI will be much higher than in your regular tires – often twice as much! Check that label or the owner's manual for proper values. It's important to check the pressure in your spare regularly because tires do leak over time, and an unchecked spare can become a useless spare when you need it unexpectedly, and it's flat. So help keep your family safe and keep that spare tire in check!
So there you have it. Keep this information safe and turn to it whenever you need to dispense some good old-fashioned justice among those five tires. Keep them in check, and you'll be able to continue being the woman of tomorrow, protector of the innocent, guardian of safety, girl of steel, the one and only, amazing – Super-Mom!
Hey Super-Mom: Take the Money & Ride®!
As an extra reward for all the good you do in the world, the good folks at Cooper Tire are bringing you the best national tire sales event of the year. The Take the Money & Ride® National Event rebate promotion returns from now to November 7, 2011, providing consumers the opportunity to take advantage of the best national savings event of the year on select Cooper tires.
Consumers are eligible to receive up to a $75 Visa® Pre-Paid Rebate Card when purchasing a new set of four qualifying Cooper tires through participating dealers in the United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec).
The lineup of eligible products for the Take the Money & Ride® rebate promotion include Discoverer A/T3, STT, CTS, H/T, LSX*, LSX Plus*, HTP* and ATP*, CS4 Touring, and Lifeliner GLS tires. What are you waiting for? To the Mom-Mobile, and get yourself some tires!
*Available at select retailers only.
About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (Cooper) is the parent company of a global family of companies that specialize in the design, manufacture, marketing, and sales of passenger car and light truck tires. Cooper has joint ventures, affiliates and subsidiaries that also specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper's headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design facilities within its family of companies, located in 10 countries around the world. For more information on Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/coopertire.