Now that awareness of the need for tire safety has risen to a new level, it might be a good time to consider how you and Discount Tire can work together as a team to improve your safety. For those of us in the tire business, there is no question that maintaining the correct air pressure in your tires is the most critical factor for tire safety. Let's take a moment to see why. If you're convinced already, and don't care about why, then go to the last paragraph to see how we can work as a team to ensure your safety.
A tire is essentially an air envelope that has been engineered to support your vehicle's weight. It has two key parts that connect it to the vehicle and to the road or terrain. These parts are the bead structure that connects the tire to the wheel and the belt and tread package that provides traction with the road. Between the two is a sidewall structure that changes strength and shape as air is added or reduced. Together, these elements represent eighty years of material science and mechanical engineering advancements that have been driven by one of the most competitive markets in the world. To say that today's tires are well engineered is an understatement. But this marvel of engineering is completely dependent on the correct air pressure. Without air pressure to support this structure, a tire quickly overheats and ultimately fails.
Consider that we have become dependent on tire technology, yet we tend to forget about our tires. Also consider that tires have a requirement that is quite like your gas tank: they require periodic refilling. But unlike your engine, a tire keeps functioning even though it has less than the required amount of air. If it were not "over-engineered," a tire would fail much sooner. However, almost incredibly, the vast majority of tires continue to function until there is almost no air pressure within the casing (interior volume). Over the years our store employees have seen cars and trucks come in with tires that have survived almost impossible abuse caused by vehicle overloading and tire underinflation. Yet the tires kept on going. Thankfully, there is a significant margin for error.
So we should all agree that tires need the correct amount of air to function and last as long as they were designed to do. Most people think they know the correct air pressure for their vehicle's tires. Recent surveys reveal that the majority of the people who responded did not know the correct pressure recommendation for their tires or where to find it, though most thought they knew. There are many places on our website where you can find this information, but for your convenience, here it is: the recommended tire pressure is set by the vehicle manufacturer and is in the owner's manual and on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box or fuel door.
If you do only one thing to ensure your safety with regard to tires, check the air pressure monthly and always before a long trip. Here is a proposal to make this as fast and simple as possible: let us do it for you. We will do it quickly, and we will do it for free. As tire professionals, we have the know-how and the tools to accurately check the air and we know the required pressure for your vehicle's tires. We will also let you know if we see any tire problems. You don't even need to get out of your car; just drive up to a service bay at any Discount Tire store and ask to have your air checked. You'll be done in minutes. We are glad to do this as a public service, regardless of where you bought your tires. For more detailed information, check our air pressure page and learn how to check it yourself. Our Info Center is also a great resource for information about tires, wear and performance.
--dtc103-- Known in Oregon & Parts of California as America's Tire