Archive for the ‘tire pressure’ Tag

Is Your Car Ready for a Road Trip?

If you are planning a road trip this summer, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t just put gas in your car and go, says the non-profit Car Care Council. A pre-trip vehicle check can determine how road-ready your vehicle is so you can take steps to have any problems fixed before heading out for vacation.

Before you hit the road, the Car Care Council recommends a vehicle check to help avoid the inconvenience, potential safety hazards and unplanned expense of breaking down miles away from home.

– Check filters and fluids, including engine oil, antifreeze/coolant, windshield washer and power steering, brake and transmission fluids. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power.

– Check the hoses and belts and replace if they become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.

– Check the brake system and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.

– Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Under inflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.

– Check the engine to make sure it is delivering the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.

– Check that the gas cap is not damaged, loose or missing to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.

“With summer vacation season upon us, a thorough inspection of your vehicle will give you peace of mind and help make your road journey safer,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Taking a few minutes to ‘be car care aware’ will make for a less stressful and more fun adventure.”

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide, which is now available electronically, or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2016/06/car-ready-road-trip/

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Driving in Winter Wonderland Takes Preparation

After two of the worst winters ever in many parts of the country, the Car Care Council suggests that motorists take a little extra time now to make sure their vehicles are prepared for the unexpected when weather arrives.

Winter Driving Tips

“The last two winters brought record-setting snowfall. That may sound like a winter wonderland, but many motorists experienced breakdowns because they did not take preventative measures to make sure their vehicles were ready for the elements,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Taking the time now to have your vehicle checked will help you avoid getting stranded in sub-zero temperatures and facing a costly repair bill.”

The non-profit Car Care Council recommends checking the following areas of your vehicle so it is road ready when severe winter weather strikes.

– Check the battery and charging system for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
– Check the antifreeze. As a general rule of thumb, clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system every two years.
– Check that heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid.
– Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
– Check the oil and filter and be diligent about changing them at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate. Check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
– Check engine performance before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
– Check the brakes. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
– Check the exhaust system for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
– Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.

During winter, drivers should keep their vehicle’s gas tank at least half-full to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing. Motorists should also check the tire pressure of the spare in the trunk and stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.

To learn more about winterizing your vehicle, view the council’s Car Care Minute video and visit http://www.carcare.org to order a free copy of the 80-page Car Care Guide.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2015/12/driving-in-winter-wonderland-takes-preparation/

Be Car Care Aware Before Your Holiday Road Trip

The holidays are stressful enough without having to worry about your vehicle making it over the river and through the woods in time for dinner at grandma’s house. The Car Care Council recommends that before hitting the road for the holidays, you take a little time to have your vehicle thoroughly inspected to make sure it is road ready.

“The last thing anyone wants during the holiday season is to break down miles from home in the middle of nowhere,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It’s always a wise idea to have your vehicle checked out before you leave home to identify any potential problems that can be serviced before your holiday journey.”

The non-profit Car Care Council suggests a pre-trip check of the following items on your vehicle to help ensure a safe holiday road trip: tires and tire pressure, brakes, hoses and belts, air filters, wipers, exterior and interior lighting, and fluid levels, including engine oil, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

“A pre-trip inspection will not only make sure your vehicle is running right, but it will also help make the trip a lot less stressful,” continued White. “Whether you do it yourself or visit a trusted neighborhood technician, being car care aware before you leave home will help you relax and enjoy the ride to your holiday destination without the worry of unexpected, costly car trouble.”

As a precaution, the Car Care Council recommends that drivers keep important telephone numbers in their cell phone or glove box in case of a travel emergency. Vehicles should have a roadside emergency kit that includes items such as a first aid kit, tire-changing jack, tire pressure gauge, jumper cables, flashlight and blankets. A copy of the council’s 80-page Car Care Guide should be kept in the glove box as a reference and can be ordered free-of-charge at http://www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2015/11/be-car-care-aware-holiday-road-trip/

The 6 Worst Towing Mistakes

Summer is in full swing and that means roads full of vacationers towing their homes-away-from-home behind them. If you plan to be one of them, make sure to avoid these common towing mistakes — you’ll enjoy your trip much more and so will the people driving behind you.

1. Not knowing your ratings

Your tow vehicle (the vehicle doing the towing) can only carry and haul so much weight. Overloading your tow vehicle, trailer, or both can cause a whole host of problems like failing brakes, broken suspensions, overheated transmissions, or blown-out tires. None of these things make for happy campers, and some can be very dangerous.

Remember to look up your vehicle’s tow ratings before you attempt to tow anything and make sure your hitch system matches your vehicle’s towing specs. All of the following numbers need to be checked and complied with. Your tow vehicle’s specs are generally listed in your owner’s manual and on the sill of your driver’s-side door. Your trailer’s unloaded weight (along with its weight ratings) can be found on its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate.

Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR): the weight limit for your vehicle (including the vehicle itself plus passengers, cargo, and accessories).

Gross combination weight rating (GCWR): the maximum weight of the tow vehicle plus the loaded trailer, equipment, passengers, fuel, and anything else you plan to haul or carry.

Gross axle weight rating (GAWR): the amount of weight a single axle can safely bear. It’s important to know this value for both your tow vehicle and your trailer.

Towing capacity: the amount of weight your vehicle can pull.

Tongue weight: the amount of the trailer’s weight that is borne by the trailer hitch. Ideally, this should be about 10 percent of the total trailer weight. Too much tongue weight will make your vehicle’s steering less responsive. Too little and the trailer might sway. Tongue weight can be measured using a specialized scale (available at trailer supply shops).

If you’re having trouble estimating the combined weight of your trailer plus cargo, take the loaded trailer to a vehicle scale at a nearby weigh station or truck stop.

2. Not checking the local regulations

A ticket is nobody’s idea of a great vacation souvenir, so remember that towing laws and restrictions vary from state to state. While most states require taillights on your trailer and safety chains that connect the trailer to the tow vehicle, some states also require special braking equipment or additional side and rearview mirrors.

States also differ on their maximum towing speeds, the maximum trailer width, and the number of vehicles you’re allowed to tow. So be sure to know the laws, not just for your home state, but for any state you might pass through.

3. Forgetting to put on the brakes (and the wires)

The added weight of the trailer gives your vehicle extra momentum, which means it takes longer to reduce your speed. For this reason, many states require trailers over a certain weight (usually 1,500 lb.) to be equipped with a separate braking system. Trailer brakes not only improve control, but also will stop the trailer if it gets separated from the tow vehicle. The 2 types of trailer brakes are electronic (which are attached to a controller in the tow vehicle) and surge (independent hydraulic brakes that are activated by momentum). Not all jurisdictions allow surge brakes, so check your local laws.

Because cars behind you can’t see the lights on your tow vehicle, federal law requires trailers to be equipped with brake lights, taillights, turn signals, and reflectors. These are powered by a connector that hooks up to your vehicle’s electrical system. Make sure your wires are taut enough not to drag on the road, but loose enough not to disconnect during turns.

4. Loading your cargo improperly

If your trailer is off-balance, it will be difficult to control. Make sure cargo is distributed evenly, with about 60 percent of the total weight in front of the axle (but not too far forward). Secure cargo items to prevent them from shifting and keep the overall center of gravity low.

5. Forgetting you’re towing a trailer

No matter how strong or nimble your tow vehicle is, it’ll be less responsive once it has a trailer behind it. Since you won’t be able to accelerate, turn, or brake as fast, you’ll want to look further up the road and give yourself extra time and space to change lanes or slow down. It’s also a good idea to do some short practice drives before heading out on your big trip.

6. Not checking tire pressure

If you haven’t taken your trailer out for a while, there’s a good chance the tires need inflating. Driving a fully loaded trailer with underinflated tires is very dangerous — underinflated tires produce more friction, which can lead to blow-outs and possible rollovers. Be sure to check the tire pressure on both your tow vehicle and your trailer before you go (and while you’re at it, check the tires themselves for signs of wear).

Check your coverage capacity

One safety precaution you should always take is having adequate insurance. If your tow vehicle is insured, you can get basic liability coverage for your trailer under your auto policy. But travel trailer insurance offers much broader coverage, including total loss recovery, personal effects replacement, funds for lodging if your trailer is damaged, and even a full-timers package (if you live in your trailer year-round).

Read more at: http://blog.esurance.com/the-6-worst-towing-mistakes/#.VZ6jS2Dpjdm

Better Driving Habits Help Family Finances and the Environment

According to the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), motorists can help the environment and their own finances by incorporating a few good practices. Regular vehicle maintenance and better driving habits are two simple ways any car owner can go “green” — both for the environment and one’s own wallet.

Here are a few specific, easy-to-implement tips from ASE:

– Keep the engine running at its peak performance. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent. Replace filters and fluids as recommended in the manual. A well-tuned engine pollutes less and uses less. Moreover, neglected engine performance problems can cause costly repairs over time.

– If you do your own repairs, be a good steward of the environment. Dispose of engine fluids and batteries properly. A single quart of used motor oil can pollute thousands of gallons of water. Antifreeze poured on the ground can poison wildlife and household pets. Check around at local repair facilities to see if they accept used fluids and parts, or call your local government agencies for information on proper disposal and recycling.

– Keep tires properly inflated and aligned. If your air pressure is low, you force the engine to work harder and burn more gasoline. Tires that are misaligned also make your vehicle work harder. Consider, too, that poorly maintained tires wear out faster, which means more discards have to be scraped, recycled, or sent to the landfill.

– If weekend car tinkering is not your idea of fun, find a dependable ASE-certified technician. Ask friends for recommendations. Check the reputation of the repair shop with your local consumer group. Check out the technician’s specific credentials. ASE-certified auto technicians are tested for specific skills and knowledge in national exams, such as engine performance, brakes or suspension.

– Have your vehicle’s air conditioning system serviced only by a technician qualified to handle and recycle refrigerants. Older systems contain ozone-depleting chemicals, which could be released into the atmosphere through improper service. If you have used any over-the-counter remedies such as system sealants or self-service refrigerants, let the technician know prior to servicing the vehicle.

– Avoid speeding and sudden accelerations. Both habits guzzle gas and put extra wear-and-tear on your vehicle’s engine, transmission, steering and suspension system, and other components. Use cruise control and anticipate traffic patterns ahead. As a side benefit, your brakes will last longer, too.

– Consolidate daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving. When waiting for friends or family, shut off the engine. Park in a central location at the shopping center, and walk from store to store, rather than drive from one end to the other.

– Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage. Remove that roof-top luggage carrier after vacations to reduce air drag.

While there is no single vehicle that’s ideal for every lifestyle, regular car care and gentler driving lets you maximize gas mileage for your particular make and model — saving you money and helping the environment.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive professionals. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the ASE sign. Shops with a high percentage of ASE-certified technicians often participate in the Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program.

Read more at: http://www.ase.com/News-Events/Publications/Glove-Box-Tips/Better-Driving-Habits-Help-Family-Finances-and-the.aspx

5 spring cleaning tips for your car

Winter can do a number on your car.

Slush, salt and cold temperatures take a toll on everything from the tires to the wiper blades. So, with spring around the corner, it’s a good idea to give your car a thorough once-over to undo winter’s damage.

It won’t cost a lot. You can do the work yourself or visit a car wash and service department to get all these services permormed.

Here are five things you can do to shake off winter and get your car in shape for spring:

1. Wash the underbody

Wintertime driving will coat the bottom of your car with salt, sand and other grime that can cause corrosion. Corrosion can lead to rust problems, which can make your car much harder to resell or even dangerous to drive.

Spend a few extra dollars for the undercarriage power wash at the local car wash or spray the car’s bottom with your own hose. There’s no need to use soap or any other cleaner.

While you’re at it, open the hood and wipe down the engine with a soft mitt and soapy water. And remove all the leaves and debris that can find their way into the car. And remove any crusty white residue off the battery with a toothbrush, baking soda and water. The residue — caused by corrosion — can eventually prevent your car from starting. The cleaning also helps prepare the battery for the stress of warmer temperatures.

2. Scrub inside and out

Salt can damage the car’s paint. Give your car a thorough cleaning and wax it.

Scrub the bottoms of doors, which can get coated with grime. Clean the window channels, also apply a silicone spray, which repels dirt and lubricates the surfaces so the windows will operate smoothly.

Use a steam cleaner — you can rent one for $20 at Home Depot — or apply a rug-cleaning spray to remove all the salt from the car’s inside. Salt can break down some fabrics and cause rips or tears when feet grind against them.

And don’t forget to take bags of salt and ice scrapers out of the trunk.

3. Replace wiper blades

Wiper blades get a workout during the winter months. Changing them each spring and fall insures you have good working blades when you need them.

4. Check tires

Check your tire pressure and rotate and align them when neccessary based on your maintenace schedule and how hard the roads were on them over the winter. Cold weather can cause tires to be underinflated and the onset of warm weather can overinflate them. Also, visually inspect your tires to make sure they’re wearing evenly and have plenty of tread for the rainy spring weather ahead.

Driving on properly inflated tires can save you money. It can cost anywhere from $50 to $250 to replace a blown tire, depending on the kind of tire you need. Your vehicle is also more fuel efficient when you drive on properly inflated tires.

5. Check your fluids

Winter weather can deplete some fluids — especially windshield wiper fluid — more quickly, so top them off yourself if they’re too low. A service station can also do the job. You should change your oil around based on your vehicles maintenance schedule regardless of season. Brake and transmission fluids should be checked as well.

Six Quick Tips for Sub-Zero Winter Driving

When it comes to winter car care, many motorists think of antifreeze and batteries, but vehicles need extra attention when temperatures drop below zero. The non-profit Car Care Council offers six quick tips to help your vehicle perform at its best during cold weather months.

1) Keep the gas tank at least half full; this decreases the chance of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.

2) Check the tire pressure, including the spare, as tires can lose pressure when temperatures drop. Consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem in your area.

3) Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.

4) Allow your car a little more time to warm up when temperatures are below freezing so that the oil in the engine and transmission circulate and get warm.

5) Change to low-viscosity oil in winter as it will flow more easily between moving parts when it is cold. Drivers in sub-zero temperatures should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.

6) Consider using cold weather washer fluid and special winter windshield blades if you live in a place with especially harsh winter conditions.

“Sub-zero temperatures can have a real impact on your vehicle,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance and rough idling, and very cold temperatures reduce battery power. If you haven’t had your vehicle checked recently, a thorough vehicle inspection is a good idea so you can avoid the aggravation and unexpected cost of a breakdown in freezing weather.”

As a precaution, motorists should be sure their vehicle is stocked with an emergency kit containing an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

As read on: http://www.carcare.org/2015/01/six-quick-tips-sub-zero-winter-driving/

Checking Tire Pressure

Picture this. It’s a brisk fall morning, and and you’ve overslept a few minutes, because let’s face it, the bed is warmer than the air outside. You rush through your morning routine. When you finally get into your car, you are greeted by an ominous warning on your dash: Low Tire Pressure. You get out and walk around the car checking your tires to see if they look low. But they look fine, so you take the risk and drive to work, wondering if you are about to experience a flat tire. Later that day, you get in the car to go to lunch and the light is out. All is forgiven, and you promptly forget about it…until the next time it happens.
What is happening?

Sound familiar? If it does, don’t worry. You are not alone. It happens to millions of people every day, most often when we get the first hint of a fall chill in the morning air. In 2005 automakers began installing tire pressure monitoring systems on new cars. By 2012, all passenger cars sold in the U.S. were required to have a tire pressure monitoring system. Most cars use a sensor mounted inside the wheel to monitor pressure. When air pressure inside a tire drops by a predetermined amount the light comes on , and stays on, until the pressure is corrected.
Why does it happen in the fall?

The tire pressure light can, and will, come on anytime the pressure falls below the threshold set at the factory. There are many reasons for a tire to lose pressure. Punctures, leaky valve stems, and poor sealing at the bead just to name a few. There is also a certain amount of air that is lost directly through the rubber itself, but by far the most common cause of pressure loss is the contraction of the air due to cold weather. The air in your tire is comprised of many elements, including water, which has a tendency to expand and contract with temperature changes. When it gets cold, the air inside your tire contracts and the warning light comes on. The tire can lose up to a pound for every 10 degrees of temperature change. Friction caused by driving, as well as afternoon heating, can frequently return the air in tires to enough of its original density that the light turns off, making the problem go away. For now…

Why should I care?

In the days before tire pressure monitors, many of us went about our normal lives completely unaware of what was happening without repercussions. Should knowing suddenly make us take notice? Absolutely. Properly inflated tires handle better, last longer, and reduce the risk of spontaneous failure. Oh, it saves money on gas too!

Why do my tires have green or blue caps?

In the mid 2000s filling tires with nitrogen got very popular. Nitrogen is a popular and inexpensive alternative to air with some additional benefits. Nitrogen is dryer than air, reducing the impact water has on inflation. Nitrogen is also bigger at a molecular level. This fact reduces the amount of gas lost to microscopic leaks. The bottom line is that nitrogen is more stable than the air we breathe, and many people feel it is a better choice for filling tires. When a shop fills tires with nitrogen they will typically replace the valve caps with ones that are green or blue. This is to let the next person filling your tires know what is in them. Mixing air and nitrogen is perfectly safe, but doing so dilutes the nitrogen and offsets the benefits.

Don’t throw away your tire gauge

Now that you have a tire pressure monitor, and maybe even nitrogen, in your tires, do you still need a tire pressure gauge? Yes you do. Checking your tire pressures periodically can help you stay ahead of a low tire light coming on. While doing so, why not take a minute and look at the tread too? Try the Lincoln penny test. Simply insert a penny in your tire tread, upside down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s hair it means there is not enough tread depth left, and it is time for a new tire.

Tire pressure affects handling and braking, critical factors to a safe trip. Properly inflated tires last longer and are much safer. Plus, it’s estimated that under-inflated tires waste 2 billion gallons of gasoline every year. So do yourself and your wallet a favor by checking your tire pressure often, especially in the fall.

Read more at: http://www.carfax.com/blog/checking-tire-pressure/

Is Your Car Road Ready?

If your vacation plans include a road trip, the last thing you want is to have unexpected car trouble to leave you stranded at the side of the road, ruining all the fun. A pre-trip vehicle check is the best way to be car care aware and ensure that your car is ready to get you to your destination, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council recommends the following pre-trip checklist before hitting the road this summer:

–         Check the brake system and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.

–         Check filters and fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power.

–         Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.

–         Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Underinflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.

–         Check that the gas cap is not damaged, loose or missing to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2014/05/is-your-car-road-ready-for-summer/

Cool weather and tire pressure: Protect yourself

Proper inflation of your tires is essential during the cold winter months.

The cooler temperatures can cause the air in your vehicle’s tires to contract and thus make your tire pressure fluctuate. Tires need to have proper grip to the pavement so that you, as the driver, can control the vehicle.

A tire that is grossly underinflated can separate from the wheel rim, causing an accident. An underinflated tire creates friction that can cause the tread to separate and the tire to fail. Underinflated tires also wear more quickly and burn more gasoline.

You should check your tire pressure more often in the winter months. Less sunlight and colder ambient temperatures will reduce your tire pressure about 1 pound per square inch (PSI) for every 10-degree Fahrenheit change in the thermometer.

That is, if you last checked your tires on a 70-degree summer morning, they could lose 3 psi when the temperature drops to 40.
How to set tire pressures
The tires on your car should be set to the pressures listed in your owner’s manual or on the door edge.You may find recommended “cold” pressures; that means you should set the tire to this pressure before the car has been driven, which warms and expands the air inside the tire. You may also find maximum allowable pressures listed. An overinflated tire can lose grip and wear unevenly.

Vehicles built since 2007 include tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) as standard equipment, a safety feature required by the federal government. At minimum, your car should provide an alert if one or more of your tires falls below a minimum tire pressure. Some cars offer a real-time readout that displays the current tire pressures at each corner of the car.
TPMS is an important safety feature, but do not expect an insurance discount for cars so equipped. (See how your choice of car affects your car insurance and discounts.)
While TPMS alerts a driver to pressures that have fallen into a dangerous zone, you should check tires regularly even without a warning light. Tire pressure gauges are readily available and inexpensive; a digital or dial gauge will be more reliable and easier to read than an old-fashioned pen-style gauge. You’ll see these benefits:

A properly inflated tire improves gas mileage. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that underinflated tires waste 2 billion gallons of gasoline a year.
A properly inflated tire wears more slowly. If you see tires wearing on their edges but not at their centers, your tires are underinflated. Conversely, worn centers are a sign of overinflation.
A properly inflated tire is safer. Your car is putting more rubber on the pavement, which means handling is more secure and braking is more stable.

Many people tend to forget to check their spare tire as well; check the spare when you change your oil and you’ll avoid an expensive road-service claim.

As read on: http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/content197.aspx