If even if you've been checking your tires' pressure throughout the winter months, spring is a good time to do a through inspection of your tires and wheels. With the nicer weather, you can take the time to check-out their condition and consider if you will need new rubber soon. Here are some tips to follow.
An early spring for much of North America means many of us can get a jump on outdoor spring projects, and giving your car a quick going over inside and out is a great place to start. In addition to improving its looks, a spring cleaning can help protect the finish, prevent rust, and add to resale value, in addition to making the inside a more pleasant place to be.
Car buyers are finding that they have to make wearisome concessions with the tires found on some new models. Certain tires can be very expensive to replace, and fixing a flat on some cars can be a more arduous task than before. Here are several examples of why you should carefully consider tires when you’re thinking about purchasing any vehicle:
With snow a rare sight in southern New England this year, Consumer Reports relied on the good folks at Jay Peak Ski Resort in Vermont (way up near the Canadian border) to provide the frosty conditions necessary to test 71 tire models. Plus, we still need to purchase six additional models, enabling us to evaluate 77 models this year. The tire types being evaluated include regular all-season (S- and T-speed rated) tires, performance all-seasons in H- and V-speed ratings, and winter tires.
More than 68,750 Toyo Extensa all-season tires are being recalled by its manufacture the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today. Certain sizes of the tire have a manufacturing flaw which could cause failure and increase the risk of collision and injury, warns the federal regulators.
Each year, Consumer Reports purchases and tests almost 1,000 tires. During that process, the team checks tire pressures literally thousands of times. Building on that experience, we recently tested and rated 14 different tire-pressure gauges to guide car owners in choosing the best tool for the job.
We’ve nearly completed our list of tires to test for the 2012 tire-test program, which will cover family car tires. Historically, this is our biggest category, and this year’s group will be no exception. We’ll be testing regular all-season models in the T-speed rating that are commonly used on older cars and minivans, as well as H- and V-speed rated all-season tires that come on newer cars.
The start of winter means if you haven’t already seen snow, ice, and slush, it may be just matter of time before it’s headed your way. As motorists gear up for the busy winter travel season, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you get to your destination safely.
The key to keeping your tires properly inflated is a good pressure gauge. And gauges don’t have to be expensive. We’ve just completed testing a variety of models, most of which cost less than $15 - a fraction of what you’ll pay for replacing tires that wear out prematurely.
We’ve complained before about the prevalence of new cars coming without spare tires. Now even when some vehicles come from the factory with spares, rental companies are starting to remove them.
Repairing flat tires is nothing new. Hence, you’d think there would be a standard practice that all service providers would follow. In fact, the Tire Industry Association (TIA) has been at it for a long time, providing training to service professionals. Also, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has had guidelines for professionals to follow. But repairing tires is not an air-tight practice.
Consumer Reports is gearing up for another tire program. Specifically, we’ll be covering family car all-season and winter tires. So far we’re in the midst of the challenging process of buying the tires now. Why challenging? Well, we’re finding that supplies are limited right now for winter tires. So if you have any thoughts about getting some, don’t wait for winter to arrive--it may be too late.
As winter fast approaches, now is the time to inspect your tires and consider if you need new rubber before the snow falls, or perhaps swap out the all-season or summer tires for dedicated snow tires. A Veteran tire expert and Consumer Reports Program Manager, Vehicle and Child Safety, Jennifer Stockburger recently shared her advice during a live Facebook video event filmed at our Yonkers headquarters, and we present her insights in the eight-minute video below.
We recently had a visit by Dr. James F. Cuttino, president of Camber Ridge, LLC, a new tire-testing facility being developed from a clean sheet of paper. The company is looking to measure the dynamic properties of tires beyond what is capable today. Backed by nine affiliate members consisting of automotive and tire manufacturers, Camber Ridge was conceived as a completely new concept to take testing to the road, so to speak. (See our tire buying advice and ratings.)
If you’re one of the millions of Americans stretching your family’s budget, chances are you’re keeping your car longer than in the past. The good news is that most modern cars are more reliable than ever, and will last as long as they’re properly maintained. The bad news is, that many motorists are putting off important maintenance and repair needs, which can lead to bigger problems for them later, and make the roads more dangerous.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: