Planning For a Long Trip: Preparing My Vehicle
- Tires' air pressure. Smooth, even driving starts with your tires. Check your tire air pressure before your trip and at least once a month. NOTE: Tires should be inflated, when cool, to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations printed on the vehicle door placard or in your vehicle's owner's manual, NOT the maximum limit stamped on a tire sidewall
- Air filter. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage, which translates to real savings at the pump.
- Spark plugs. Worn or dirty spark plugs can cause misfiring, which wastes fuel - replacing these per your vehicle's owner's manual can lead to a better performing vehicle.
- Gas cap. Damaged, loose, or missing gas caps waste gas.
1 "Be Tire Smart," Rubber Manufacturer's Association
Wet Weather Driving Tips: Tire Care in Weather Conditions
- Tires should have plenty of tread depth to evacuate standing water from between the road surface and your tire. If your current tires are worn down to anywhere near the wear bars (2.5mm or 3.0mm), it’s time to think about replacing your tires
- Tire pressures that are too low or too high can lead to reduced traction, premature tread wear, or tire damage. Check your tire pressure regularly (at least once a month) to make sure they’re properly inflated.
- Avoid sudden car movements; accelerate gently, turn gradually, and pump the brakes when stopping. These are ways to help the tread on your tires maintain effective traction.2
- Should you go into a skid and your car has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply steady pressure to the brakes and turn in the direction of the skid. Don't pump the brakes in this scenario.2
2 "Tire Safety," Rubber Manufacturers Association
- Being able to see the road in wet conditions is critical to a safer driving experience. Your vehicle’s wiper blades should also be checked for age and wear. If they leave streaks on your windshield, it’s time for a change.
- It’s also important to make sure your vehicle can be seen in wet conditions. Turn on your lights and make sure that all of them are in working order.
- Initial rain fall makes the road very slippery as the mud and oil on dry roads combines with the water to form a rather slippery layer. You’re likely to experience a loss of control so be extra careful for the first half-hour after it begins to rain.
- During wet weather conditions, drive slowly, especially in sudden downpours. Also, keep in mind that stopping distances will be longer.