Hankook presents advice for National Tire Safety Week

Jan. 1, 2020
Coordinating with National Tire Safety Week, Hankook has prepared several tips to provide motorists with the tire safety and maintenance knowledge necessary to ensure that their tires are in good working condition for summer travel.

Coordinating with National Tire Safety Week, Hankook has prepared several tips to provide motorists with the tire safety and maintenance knowledge necessary to ensure that their tires are in good working condition for summer travel.

“It’s important to remember that when tires are underinflated they are overloaded and can be dangerous,” cautions communications director Bill Bainbridge. “For the best accuracy, check your tires before you do any driving and when they are cold. An inexpensive tire air pressure gauge is all you need along with the proper inflation pressure recommendation found on the vehicle placard or in the vehicle owner’s manual,” he points out.

“Not maintaining proper tire inflation pressure costs consumers hundreds of dollars during their driving lifetime,” says Bainbridge. “Even slightly underinflated tires require more energy and build up damaging heat more quickly. This leads to reduced fuel economy and paying more for gas than you need.”

The tire maker offers this advice:

• Check tire air pressure monthly and always before a long distance trip. Maintaining proper inflation pressure is essential for driving safety, handling, ride comfort and maximizing fuel economy.

• Inspect tires for uneven treadwear that may indicate signs of mechanical problems, and/or cracks, bulges or any sign of foreign material or trauma that can lead to tire failure. If you think your tire may have been damaged from hitting a pothole, curb or debris on the road, it should be inspected for damage by a qualified person.

• Check your tire tread depth. As tires wear down and the grooves become shallower, they are more prone to hydroplaning (losing grip on a wet surface) and susceptible to flats. Tires must be replaced before the tread grooves are worn down below 2/32-inch of depth. Most tires have between four and six treadwear indicators at that depth.

• Never overload your vehicle or exceed the tire’s load carrying capacity when it is properly inflated. Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual or the placard on the inside driver’s door jamb for proper recommendations.

“In addition,” says Bainbridge, “tires that wear unevenly and more quickly as a result of improper inflation will cause consumers to spend more on vehicle maintenance and to replace tires more often. A little common sense and a few minutes each month can add up to a lot of dollars saved.”

When replacing the tires that came as original equipment on your vehicle, you should always refer to your vehicle owner’s manual and rely on an authorized tire retailer for advice to ensure that you make the best and safest choice, according to Bainbridge.

In addition to size, model and type, there are other qualifications to consider when replacing your tires: “Three important factors make up the Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standard (UTQG) developed to provide consumers with useful information to help them compare passenger car tires based on their relative treadwear, traction and temperature capabilities,” he explains. “While these UTQG standards aren’t perfect, they can help consumers narrow their purchase decision.”

“The higher the treadwear rating the longer the tire should wear,” notes Tom Kenny, Hankook’s manager of tire development engineering. “Traction represents the tire’s stopping ability on wet asphalt and concrete surfaces. The highest traction rating is AA followed by A, B and C. Temperature measures how well a tire dispels heat and how well it handles heat build up. Tire temperatures are rated A, B and C, respectively.”

Most cars require replacing tires in sets of two or four, he says. It is rare that one tire will wear down much more quickly than the other three. “Rotating tires every 5,000 to 7,000 miles and checking tire pressure regularly helps to ensure that all four tires will wear down evenly,” Kenny reports. “If it is necessary to replace two tires at a time, make sure the new tires are mounted on the rear axle to provide better grip, which reduces the vehicle’s potential to hydroplane in wet conditions.”

For more information, visit www.hankooktireusa.com.

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