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Car experts say to check tires travelling long distances in heat

There's a month left of summer vacation for families in our area, but before you go on your last road trips, car experts said there are some things you should be checking before you head out.

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- There's a month left of summer vacation for families in our area, but before you go on your last road trips, car experts said there are some things you should be checking before you head out.

"The dangers that are going to happen- especially in this high heat- are you would continue to wear through the tire and it would no longer be able to hold itself together," said Allen Parker, SEARS Automotive Manager.

Before you pack up and hit the road, experts said to check your tires.

Driving on the scorching roads could be dangerous if your tires are old and already worn.

"The heat's obviously going to soften the robber compound, causing the traction to peel off- the rubber to peel off- and become softer and just worn easier," said Parker.

Parker said tires must be made a certain way to accommodate heat and you won't blow out a tire from the heat alone.

Authorities say it's a combination of factors that you can control.

"Tire pressure is probably the easiest thing that can make a huge difference because lower tire pressure or higher tire pressure can cause wear and tear over time," said Parker.

In most cars, you can check the tire pressure by flipping through the settings on the dash monitor. Experts said to also check the tire pressure on your spare.

Another thing experts say to do is to check the date on the tire.

If it's five-years-old, you should replace it.

"Some of the tires, when they separate here (pointing on the top of the tire) will get longer and deep cracks and usually that's what will happen so it will separate off here,” explained Parker.

Officials said to look at the tires, to see if there is any obvious wear and tear.

One way you can check tire wear is with a penny. Officials said to turn the penny upside down and have it facing towards you. You then put it in between the tire grooves and if you can see the top of Lincoln's head, you probably should replace the tire.

But if something does happen on the road, officials say to be prepared.

"They have kits that you can get in most places that are going to contain some reflectors and some small tools that can get you by," said Parker.

Officials said to make sure you always have food, water, a phone charger and a working phone in your car.

They also suggested bringing an umbrella to block the sun in case you get stranded.

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