General Tire Safety
CHECK THE COLD INFLATION PRESSURES IN ALL YOUR TIRES, INCLUDING THE SPARE, AT LEAST ONCE EACH MONTH Failure to maintain correct inflation may result in improper vehicle handling and may cause rapid and irregular tire wear, sudden tire destruction, loss of vehicle control and serious personal injury. Therefore, inflation pressures should be checked at least once each month and always prior to long distance trips. This applies to all tires, including sealant types, and Self-Supporting tires which are as susceptible to losing air pressure as any other type of tire if not properly maintained. UNDER INFLATION It is impossible to determine whether tires are properly inflated by simply looking at them. It is almost impossible to “feel or hear” when a tire is being run under inflated or nearly flat. Tires must be checked monthly with a tire pressure gauge. Pressures should be checked when tires are cold, in other words, before they have been driven on. Driving, even for a short distance, causes tires to heat up and air pressure to increase.
Checking pressure when tires are hot: If pressures are checked after tires have been driven for more than three minutes or more than one mile, (1.6 km) the tires become hot and the pressures will increase by approximately 4 psi. Therefore when the tire pressure is adjusted under these conditions, it should be increased to a gauge reading of 4 psi greater than the recommended cold inflation pressure. TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEMS (TPMS): Your vehicle may be equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that is designed to monitor the pressure of tires mounted on your vehicle and sends a signal to the driver if a tire pressure falls below a predetermined level. A TPMS should not replace monthly manual pressure checks for all four (4) tires and the spare. We recommend that you manually monitor and check tire pressure inflation with a pressure gauge. Your tires should have the recommended pressure listed by your vehicle's manufacturer. This information can be found in the vehicle owner's manual and often on a placard located in the vehicle's door jamb, inside the fuel hatch, or on the glove compartment door. If you have a plus size fitment that requires a higher inflation pressure, your tire pressure monitoring system will require re-calibration to the new inflation pressure. Refer to your tire dealer/installer of plus size tires for proper inflation pressure. We recommend checking air pressure once each month, and before a long trip. Whether you have a full-sized or mini-spare, make sure that it is properly inflated as well. If the TPMS generates improper monitoring or signals we recommend that you consult your owner’s manual provided with your vehicle and follow-up with your vehicle’s manufacturer. INSPECT YOUR TIRES, DO NOT DRIVE ON A DAMAGED TIRE OR WHEEL HAZARDS Objects in the road, such as potholes, glass, metal, rocks, wood, debris and the like, can damage a tire and should be safely avoided. Unavoidable contact with such objects should prompt a thorough tire inspection. Anytime you see any damage to your tires or wheels, replace with the spare at once and immediately visit any CERTIFIED tire retailer. IMPACT DAMAGE A tire impacted by a road hazard (curb, pothole, debris) may be damaged but not have visible signs of damage on its surface. A tire damaged by an impact may sustain a sudden failure a day, week, or even months later. You may not recall hitting an object that damaged or injured your tires. Air loss, unusual tire wear, localized wear or vibrations can also be signs of internal tire damage.
If you suspect any damage to your tire or wheel from an impact with a curb, pothole, debris on the road or any other road hazard, or if you feel or hear any unusual vibration, replace with a properly inflated spare at once and immediately visit any qualified tire technician. Always look for bulges, cracks, cuts, penetrations and abnormal tire wear, particularly on the edges of the tire tread, which may be caused by misalignment or under inflation. If any such damage is found, the tire must be inspected by a certified tire retailer at once. Use of a damaged tire could result in tire destruction. WEAR BARS Most tires contain “Wear-Bars” in the grooves of the tire tread which show up when only 2/32nds of an inch (1.6 mm) of tread is remaining. At this stage, your tires must be replaced. Tires worn beyond this stage are extremely dangerous. DO NOT OVERLOAD - DRIVING ON ANY OVERLOADED TIRE IS DANGEROUS The maximum load rating of your tires is molded on the tire sidewall. Do not exceed this rating. Follow the loading instructions of the manufacturer of your vehicle and this will ensure that your tires are not overloaded. Tires which are loaded beyond their maximum allowable loads for the particular application will build up excessive heat that may result in sudden tire destruction. Do not exceed the gross axle weight rating for any axle on your vehicle. WHEEL ALIGNMENT AND BALANCING ARE IMPORTANT FOR SAFETY AND MAXIMUM MILEAGE FROM YOUR TIRES
CHECK HOW YOUR TIRES ARE WEARING AT LEAST ONCE EACH MONTH If your tires are wearing unevenly, such as the inside shoulder of the tire wearing faster than the rest of the tread, or if you detect excessive vibration, your vehicle may be out of alignment or balance. These conditions not only shorten the life of your tires but adversely affect the handling characteristics of your vehicle, which could be dangerous. If you detect irregular wear or vibration, have your alignment and balance checked immediately. Tires which have been run underinflated will show more wear on the shoulders than in the center of the tread. TIRE ROTATION AND REPLACEMENT To obtain maximum tire wear, it may be necessary to rotate your tires. Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for instructions on tire rotation. If you do not have an owner‘s manual for your vehicle, It is recommended that rotating your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles (10,000 to 12,000 km) greatly increase your tire life. Monthly inspection for tire wear is recommended. Your tires should be rotated at the first sign of irregular wear, even if it occurs before 6,000 miles (10,000 km). This is true for all vehicles.
When rotating tires with a directional tread pattern, observe the arrows molded on the sidewall which show the direction the tire should turn. Care must be taken to maintain the proper turning direction. Determine whether rotated tires require tire inflation adjustment as front and rear position tire pressure may vary according to the vehicle manufacturer’s specification due to the actual load on that wheel position. Some vehicles may have different sized tires mounted on the front and rear axles, and these different sized tires have rotation restrictions. Always check the vehicle owner’s manual for the proper rotation recommendations.
FULL-SIZE SPARE Full-size spare tires (not temporary spares) of the same size and construction should be used in a five (5) tire rotation. Always check the inflation pressure of the full-size spare immediately before incorporating it into rotation. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pattern for rotation, or if not available, see a qualified tire technician.
REPLACEMENT OF TWO (2) TIRES It is recommended that all four (4) tires are replaced at the same time. However, whenever only two tires are replaced, the new ones should be put on the rear. The new tires, with deeper tread, may provide better grip and water evacuation in wet driving conditions. TIRE ALTERATIONS Do not make or allow to be made any alterations on your tires. Alterations may prevent proper performance, leading to tire damage which can result in an accident. Tires which become unserviceable due to alterations such as truing, whitewall inlays, addition of balancing or sealant liquids, or the use of tire dressing containing petroleum distillates are excluded from warranty coverage. REPAIRS - WHEREVER POSSIBLE, SEE A CERTIFIED TIRE RETAILER AT ONCE If any tire sustains a puncture, have the tire demounted and thoroughly inspected by any CERTIFIED tire retailer for possible damage that may have occurred. A tread area puncture in any passenger or light truck tire can be repaired provided that the puncture hole is not more than 1/4” in diameter, not more than one radial cable per casing ply is damaged, and the tire has not been damaged further by the puncturing object or by running under inflated. Tire punctures consistent with these guidelines can be repaired by following the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) recommended repair procedures. TIRE REPAIRS Repairs of all tires must be of the combined plug and inside patch type. Plug only repairs are improper. A tire should be removed from the rim and inspected prior to repair. Any tire repair done without removing the tire from the rim is improper. An improperly repaired tire will cause further damage to the tire by either leaking air or allowing air, moisture and contaminants to enter the structure of the tire. An improperly repaired tire can fail suddenly at a later date. Never repair a tire with less than 2/32nds of an inch tread remaining. At this tread depth, the tire is worn out and must be replaced. For this reason, tires should always be stored in a cool, dry, clean, indoor environment. If storage is for one month or more, eliminate the weight from the tires by raising the vehicle or by removing the tires from the vehicle. Failure to store tires in accordance with these instructions could result in damage to your tires or premature aging of the tires and sudden tire failure.
SERVICE LIFE FOR PASSENGER CAR AND LIGHT TRUCK TIRES INCLUDING SPARE TIRES The following recommendation applies to passenger car and light truck tires. Tires are composed of various types of material and rubber compounds, having performance properties essential to the proper functioning of the tire itself. These component properties evolve over time. For each tire, this evolution depends upon many factors such as weather, storage conditions, and conditions of use (load, speed, inflation pressure, maintenance etc.) to which the tire is subjected throughout its life. This service-related evolution varies widely so that accurately predicting the serviceable life of any specific tire in advance is not possible. That is why, in addition to regular inspections and inflation pressure maintenance by consumers, it is recommended to have passenger car and light truck tires, including spare tires, inspected regularly by a qualified tire specialist, such as a tire dealer, who will assess the tire's suitability for continued service. Tires which have been in use for 5 years or more should continue to be inspected by a specialist at least annually. Consumers are strongly encouraged to be aware not only of their tires' visual condition and inflation pressure but also of any change in dynamic performance such as increased air loss, noise or vibration, which could be an indication that the tires need to be removed from service to prevent tire failure. It is impossible to predict when tires should be replaced based on their calendar age alone . However, the older a tire the greater the chance that it will need to be replaced due to the service-related evolution or other conditions found upon inspection or detected during use. While most tires will need replacement before they achieve 10 years, it is recommended that any tires in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tires, be replaced with new tires as a simple precaution even if such tires appear serviceable and even if they have not reached the legal wear limit. For tires that were on an original equipment vehicle (i.e., acquired by the consumer on a new vehicle), follow the vehicle manufacturer's tire replacement recommendations, when specified (but not to exceed 10 years).
The date when a tire was manufactured is located on the sidewall of each tire. Consumers should locate the Department of Transportation or DOT code on the tire which begins with DOT and ends with the week and year of manufacture. For example, a DOT code ending with "2204" indicates a tire made in the 22nd week (May) of 2004.