The only things touching the road every time you drive are your tires, so proper and proactive tire maintenance should be near the top of any car owner’s list. Checking your tires on a frequent and consistent basis will help keep them as healthy as possible, and following these tire maintenance tips will help better safeguard you from unwanted flats and blowouts.
The surest way to keep your tires lasting longer is to make sure they’re properly inflated. Take your tire gauge out once every couple of weeks or so and make sure your tires are all at the manufacturer’s recommended PSI levels. When the temperature fluctuates during winter and summer, you’ll want to check more regularly as these conditions can lead to sudden leaps and losses.
Keep an eye on the rubber
In many cases, just looking at your tires can tell you the story of how well they’re doing. When you do your occasional vehicle walkaround, take a gander at all four tires for signs of wear like bumps and cracking. You’ll also want to keep an eye on tread depth and, if the tread appears lower, perform the penny test to see if you’re in need of a replacement.
Regularly rotating your tires will ensure that all tires wear equally, helping extend their lives as long as possible. You’ll want to rotate your tires in the intervals recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual, but as a general rule, you should have a rotation done every six months or 6,000-8,000 miles.
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With the promise of warm weather in spring and summer come the inevitable rain showers. Driving in wet road conditions can be dangerous with nearly 1.2 million crashes every year attributed to slick roads. With the right tips in mind for driving safely in the rain, you can help ensure you don’t become part of that statistic.
Before You Drive
Make sure your windshield wipers are properly functioning. If they leave streaks or don’t clear the windshield in one swipe, it’s time to replace the blades.
Your tire tread is a huge part of keeping your car on the road. Check the tread on all your tires to make sure they can displace the water on the road. If they have worn down, start shopping for new.
No matter your destination, in the rain it’s best to take your time getting there. Wet roads reduce the tires’ grip, and harsh storms reduce visibility. Keep your distance from the vehicle in front of you and slow down.
During the rain, a driver needs to pay full attention to the road. Avoid using cruise control during storms as it can increase the chance of an accident. Not using the cruise control allows you to concentrate on driving and allow faster reaction time to loss of traction.
If you do begin to hydroplane, don’t panic. Continue to steer, gently, in the direction you want the car to go. Avoid sudden turns or hard braking as you will lose even more control.
For a reliable new-to-you sued vehicle capable of handling the elements, stop into Chip Wynn Motors.
There’s a lot of maintenance on your car that would be better off left to a professional. But there are plenty of areas that you can work yourself with relative ease. Changing out the windshield wipers is a quick DIY that provides a better driving experience.
But when it comes time to buy new wipers, have you noticed that you have to buy two different sizes? To maximize the surface area covered by the windshield wipers, automakers designed the blades to sit in an off-center position on the hood.
Older cars had centralized wipers that left a lot of the bottom and edges of the windshield untouched. With the newer design, when the driver’s side wiper swipes across, it stops at a 90 degree angle. More of the surface area gets cleared with this setup than if both blades sat centrally. But with these angles, one blade needs to be shorter to be able to fit the off-center position.
Depending on the vehicle you drive, the driver’s side could be longer than the passenger’s and vice versa. To figure out which blades to get when buying new, consult the owner’s manual. If the manual is not available, getting assistance from a car parts store or local dealership will help you find the correct size.
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Aggressive driving is an all too common behavior behind the wheel, but it is also very dangerous, as it can easily lead to accidents on the road. In fact, according to the AAA Foundation, more than half of crashes from 2003 to 2007 involved an aggressive driver.
So how can you avoid aggressive driving? Remain calm behind the wheel. Try not to let other drivers’ actions upset you. Focus on your breathing, play music that relaxes you, and remember that actions like speeding maybe shave seconds off your arrival time, but not much more.
Aggressive driving usually rears its ugly head in the form of tailgating drivers ahead of you, cutting off drivers during quick lane changes, weaving in and out of highway traffic, and failing to use signals. Aggressive driving turns to road rage when you use hand gestures to signal your dislike of another driver’s actions or when you attempt to speed past drivers, brake check them, or run them off the road in anger.
To ensure that you don’t become an aggressive driver, always remember to use turn signals, give space for others to merge, keep a safe following distance from traffic ahead of you, and obey traffic laws, especially speed limits. If you witness aggressive driving from other drivers or feel threatened due to someone’s road rage, call 911.
From all your friends at Chip Wynn Motors, stay safe out there!
It’s hard to believe, but summer is almost over, which means it’s back to school for our nation’s youth. That also means you will soon be sharing the road with school buses once again. Here are some quick tips to do so safely:
- Watch for railroad crossings: School buses must make complete stops before crossing railroads. If you are behind a bus and are approaching a railroad crossing, be prepared to stop.
- Slow down: Buses will be traveling slower than most cars because A) they follow all speed limits and B) they are humongous. Don’t zip around them because your visibility is limited around school buses and because they make frequent stops.
- Obey all lights and signs: This is the biggest and easiest tip we have. School buses use yellow lights to signal that they are about to stop to pick up or let off children. At that point, prepare to stop. When the red lights flash and the stop sign pops out, you absolutely must stop. Not only is it illegal to pass (and some buses now have cameras to catch you if you do), but you are jeopardizing the safety of children if you do not obey the law.
If you or an older student needs a new ride to get to class every day, please contact the team at Chip Wynn Motors. We’ll be glad to give you a hand.