Before families hit the road for summer vacations, they should make sure the good family vehicles are ready for the trip. One of the biggest safety features on your car is where the rubber meets the road. The tires. Angie's List and IndyCar rookie driver Bertrand Baguette have some tips on what to check before you hit the road. Times staff writer
Tire pressure: Tire pressure is key to safety on the road. If there's not enough air pressure, you could blow a tire going down the road. Have your tires checked at an auto service shop, or do it yourself with a tire pressure gauge and an air pump available at many gas stations.
Tire tread: The tread on your tires gives your vehicle the traction it needs to navigate safely through virtually any weather conditions. Here's a quick test that can help you figure out whether it's time to visit the tire shop: Take a penny, with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you. Place it in the tread of the tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, it's time to get new tires.
Tire rotation: Rotating tires every 6,000 miles helps them last longer and keeps the tread from wearing out in spots. There are different methods and patterns of rotating tires depending on the type of car and whether it is front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The owner's manual will spell that out for you.
Tire code: The string of letters and numbers you see on the side of your tires can tell you a lot about them. This is important, because the wrong tires on your car could be a safety hazard and affect other areas of the vehicle, including the suspension.
Source: Angie's List