COVID-19

After sheltering in place, your car's tires may no longer be road worthy

Your tire may not be road worthy after sitting idle in your driveway for a month or longer.

Photo by Getty Images

Your car's tires have been sitting around while you shelter in place. Are they still road worthy? Maybe not. Tiremaker Pirelli has put together a list of checks they advise drivers follow before they hit the road and head back to work.

Look at your tires.

Checking tires visually to see if there are any lumps or deformations caused by the car standing still for a long time, or by the weather conditions. Check also for damage, cuts, abrasions and the tire bulging – and ensure that the valve caps are tight.

Check your tire pressure.

Checking tire pressures, also the spare tire, ideally at a tire dealer with professional monitoring equipment. This helps guarantee optimal performance and safety, as well as the correct rolling resistance to enhance fuel economy.

If you don't own a tire pressure gauge, you can swing by your local gas station that has an air pump to check yours. Most pumps have a gauge built into the air release end. Remember to bring change for the air pump and a wipe to wash down any bits you will come into contact with ahead of using the service.

Inspecting Tire Tread Using a Penny The penny test is a good way to check the depth of your tire tread. Photo by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Check the depth of your tire tread.

Tire wear to be above the legal limit of 2/32-inch tread depth. This can be checked using the tread depth indicator on the tire itself. Or, use the penny test.

What's the penny test? Place a penny, with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you, into the tread groove on your tire. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, your tread depth is less than 2/32-inch and it's time to replace your tires.

Listen and feel.

Pay close attention to any vibrations may be felt through the steering wheel after the car has been standing for a long period of time. If these don't go away after the first few miles, get the car looked at by professionals as soon as possible.

Trending News

 
 

Driving in the country has its own unique challenges.

Photo by Sergiy Trofimov Photography/Getty Images

Tis the season for getting stuck driving behind a tractor. Country roads have their plusses and minuses - the scenery, the lack of traffic, the ability to push the speed limit. But, they also come with their own set of safety hazards. New guidance from GEM Motoring Assist gives drivers safety tips for navigating back roads. Plus, we threw in a few top tips of our own.

"Driving in the countryside is usually a great pleasure, with good views, quiet roads and a variety of interesting terrain," said GEM chief executive Neil Worth. "But country roads are used by many different people and vehicles, so it's vital to look for the clues – some obvious, others less so – as to what might be round the next bend."

Rule #1: Expect the unexpected

According to Neil Worth, country road hazards may be unique. "What's round the corner on a rural road with restricted visibility? It could be another car or a motorcycle coming towards you too fast, a group of cyclists on a ride out, sheep or cattle crossing the road, a horse and rider, a wild animal, a slow-moving farm tractor…

"Until you have perfect sight of what's ahead, you need to be ready to anticipate what could be there. By adjusting your speed and position accordingly, you're doing your bit to keep yourself and the other road users safe."

Rule #2: Mud can be a sign of what's to come

If you see mud on the road, expect to see slow-moving farm vehicles. Sometimes you'll get lucky and see them in the lane. Other times, tractors enter the roadway from a pasture or field unexpectedly and can be obstructed from view by crops or animals.

Rule #3: Watch for fresh cut grass.

If you smell or see fresh-cut grass, there's a good chance that there's a mower nearby. Whether it's the local department of transportation doing their work in the median on a highway or the side of a thoroughfare, or a resident cutting their lawn, it's important to remember that they may veer into the roadway to get their job done.

Rule #4: Don't stop but smell the manure.

Usual the smell of manure has you reaching for the air circulation options on your dashboard, and rightly so. Smelling manure is a sign that livestock is nearby. Plops in the roadway may mean that there is a horse ahead, either being ridden, pulling a buggy, or on the loose.

Rule #5: Watch out for garbage cans.

If you live in the suburbs, you know how a strong wind can make garbage bins go flying around your neighborhood. Make the wind stronger, give it a clear path, and you're now seeing one of the finer points of country living. When you see garbage bins on the curb on a windy day, pay heed, they may come your way.

Also, having bins on the curb means that it either is trash day or that trash day is tomorrow. Either way, pay attention for stopped and slow-moving garbage trucks along your route.

Rule #6: Make room if you can.

Country roads can be especially narrow, with just barely enough for two vehicles to pass each other. When a vehicle approaches in the opposite direction, it is appropriate to slow on my narrow paths to determine if you'll both fit. Don't be afraid to be the one to pull off to the side to let another vehicle pass, as long as you can do so safely.

If you encounter a horse rider on the road, drive very slowly and give the horse a wide berth. It's important to not frighten the hose, only passing when you're able to safely do so.

Rule #7: Beware the bumpy road.

Not all country roads are paved. Bumpy dirt roads don't just kick the dust up, they can easily hide potholes, drops, and sharp rocks.

Rule #8: Keep your head up for cyclists.

Country roads don't traditionally offer sidewalks or bike paths. Cyclists don't always travel in packs and when moving at speed, can be hard to see against sunshine. Like with horses, give cyclists a wide birth and slow your speed when passing. The wind movement from a passing vehicle can be enough to knock a cyclist off their bike.

Trending News

 
 

A track-honed version of the Ferrari 812 Superfast is coming soon.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari
Sure, there's been plenty of spy photos, but the first official photographs of the Ferrari 812 Superfast have finally dropped, giving enthusiasts some intel on a car that just a few of them will be able to afford and even less will be able to purchase. The photos come ahead of the car's debut, which is set for May 5.

Ferrari has yet to decide on a name for the car, at least publicly. All they're saying now is that it's a special version of the 812 Superfast. Changes to the car, for its limited edition run, focus on honed-in 812 characteristics. The current 812 Superfast is billed as the "fastest and most powerful" Ferrari to date. This new version could be even more powerful.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

1 / 6

The Italian supercar manufacturer says that the new car "encapsulates and epitomizes the company's 70-plus years of experience on the world's circuits". Ferraris, according to the company, are best known for their "performance, form, and function" and this new model will include "numerous uncompromising engineering solutions to guarantee peerless driving pleasure".

This new car will feature Ferrari's V12 engine, which produces 819 horsepower, and revs to 9,500 rpm, the highest of any Ferrari with an internal combustion engine. It has class-leading vehicle dynamics thanks to four-wheel steering and an ultra-connected drive experience. The seventh iteration of Ferrar's side slip control vehicle dynamics system debuts on the new model. There's new front air intakes, rear diffuser, and exhaust configuration all as a means of enhancing downforce.

High- and low-tech solutions play into the performance of the new car. Aerodynamicists formed the car to a shape that is unprecedented for a road car. The typical rear window has been changed out for a single-piece aluminum structure. Lightweighting has been done in various places including the door panels where a new design weighs less and gives the cockpit a sportier look.

In the new photos, Ferrari shows that the special series has a personality that differentiates its from the 812 Superfast. This was achieved by generating unique styling themes. A carbon fiber blade traverses the hood of the car and emphasizes the width of the car. The tail of the model has a unique look that gives the car the look of a fastback and includes a higher spoiler.

Stay tuned for details from the full review.

Trending News