Every time you take your car on an extended trip, you should perform a complete tire inspection. In the paragraphs below, you will be presented with items concerning your tires you should look for when performing a vehicle and tire inspection before a vacation.
Tire tread depth and condition is probably the most important part of the tire inspection. Tire tread must be a minimum of 2/32 to be within legal limits, and at least three or four 32nds if you plan on taking a long trip, to ensure adequate tread throughout the trip. Also make sure there are no cuts or tears in the tread. During the tread inspection, ensure there are no screws, nails or other objects puncturing the tires. Have any punctures properly repaired.
Proper tire inflation will ensure you receive optimal tread and gas mileage on your trip. Proper tire inflation will also ensure your tire is able to dissipate generated heat properly. A typical recommended tire pressure is 36 pounds per square inch. Verify this number by looking at your tire placard.
More performance tires these days are directional. This means they are designed to spin at high speed in only one direction. Reverse spinning these tires at high speed can cause them to fail with catastrophic consequences. Direction of the proper tire rotation is labeled on the sidewall of the tire.
Look closely at your tires. Make sure there are no cracks in the sidewalls. If you plan on taking a long trip, you should plan on changing any tires, displaying many cracks in the sidewalls, as they can cause blowouts when the heat and pressure build in your tires during driving.
The preceding paragraphs contain four areas of your tires you should review when performing a pre-vacation tire inspection.