Consumer Reports: Make your tires road-trip ready!

For many drivers, summer means the call of the open road! But before you head out, Consumer Reports says that along with packing your suitcases, you should also spend a few minutes checking your tires.

Big changes in temperature during the seasons can really affect tire pressure. So check your tires and adjust the pressure if it doesn't match what's indicated on the tire information placard found on the driver's doorjamb. Properly inflated tires last longer and make your car more fuel-efficient. Check the pressure on your car's spare tire, too.

Next, inspect your tires for signs of damage, such as cuts, cracks, and sidewall blisters that might be the result of potholes. It's also smart to check on how worn your tires have become. Insert a quarter into tire tread. If you can see the top of George Washington's head, it's time to consider buying a new tire. Driving with worn tires tends to make your car take longer to stop on wet pavement and to hydroplane more frequently.

If it's time for new ones, CR recommends the Michelin CrossClimate Plus all-weather tires.

It may also be time to rotate your tires. You'll find that info in your car owner's manual. Regular rotations keep the tires wearing evenly and can even make them last longer.
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