Be tire smart ... Play your PART

Be tire smart ... Play your PART

Did you know...

Each month, three out of four drivers wash their cars while only one out of seven correctly checks their tire pressure.
Motorists rank checking tire pressure as the second most important regular vehicle safety action, but more than three times as many drivers believe regular oil changes are most important to the safe operation of their vehicles
Only 15 percent of drivers properly check their tire inflation pressure.

To properly check tire inflation pressure:
Check tire inflation pressure at least once a month
Use the correct inflation pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, not the pressure listed on the tire sidewall
Check tires when they are cold or haven't been driven for at least three hours
More than half of drivers -- 55 percent -- incorrectly believe that the correct inflation pressure is printed on the tire sidewall.
Two out of three drivers don't know how to tell if their tires are bald.
71 percent of drivers do not check their tire pressure in their spare tire.
Proper tire care and safety is simple and easy. The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) recommends getting in the habit of taking five minutes every month to check your tires, including the spare.

Your tire maintenance checklist:

Pressure: Underinflation can lead to tire failure. It results in unnecessary tire stress, irregular wear, loss of control and accidents. A tire can lose up to half of its air pressure and not appear to be flat!
Alignment: A bad jolt from hitting a curb or pothole can throw your front end out of alignment and damage your tires. Have a tire dealer check the alignment periodically to ensure that your car is properly aligned.
Rotation: Regularly rotating your vehicle's tires will help you achieve more uniform wear. Unless your vehicle owner's manual has a specific recommendation, the guideline for tire rotation is approximately every 6,000-8,000 miles.
Tread: Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to grip the road in adverse conditions. Visually check your tires for uneven wear, looking for high and low areas or unusually smooth areas. Also check for signs of damage.
If you think you may have a tire problem or are unsure of the condition of your tires, consult a tire dealer as soon as possible.

Download the RMA's informative brochure "Be Tire Smart ... Play Your PART." (Adobe Acrobat Reader required.)

For more information, visit the Rubber Manufacturers Association at http://www.rma.org or the Rubber Association of Canada at http://www.rubberassociation.ca.

The RMA sponsored survey was conducted by FrederickPolls to 2,200 drivers nationwide from January 29-February 11, 2004 and has a margin of error of +/- 2 percent.