Tire Safety Articles
- What GM does for tire safety
- Basic tire safety
- Winter tire safety tips
- What you can do
Manufacturers provide detailed specifications on each replacement tire, making tire selection easier.
What GM Does for Tire Safety
General Motors has long been committed to keeping you and your passengers safer. In 1968, the GM Tire and Wheel Systems Laboratory was opened in Michigan, to oversee the design, development, validation and engineering release of all tires used on GM North American vehicles.
GM was also one of the first automakers to include original equipment tires in its new vehicle limited warranty. This means you can bring your tire concerns related to the tires on your GM vehicle directly to any GM dealer. In doing so, we can improve our product offering.
Another GM safety innovation is the TPC (Tire Performance Criteria) system, making it easier to purchase replacement tires for your GM vehicle. In General Motor's labs, tires in development for use on GM vehicles are subjected to a series of rigorous tests, under a variety of load and driving conditions. These tests measure critical performance characteristics, like force and moment properties that influence steering.
In this section, you will learn how you can take good care of your tires, keeping them in circulation longer.
Basic Tire Safety
Tires are four of the most important features on any vehicle. They are also the area most often neglected even though they are relatively easy to care for. You can increase your vehicle's fuel efficiency, reduce harmful emissions, save money and make your vehicle safer by adopting a few simple tire maintenance habits:
- Use the right tires for your vehicle and road conditions.
- Check tire pressure on a monthly basis, using a good quality tire gauge.
- Have your vehicle's tires aligned if you notice unusual wear.
- Have your vehicle's tires balanced if you feel abnormal vibration.
- Rotate your tires regularly.
- Monitor tread wear and replace tires when tire tread is worn out.
- Visually check treads for foreign objects and tires for rips and tears.
- Properly store seasonal tires.
Store seasonal tires upright, in an indoor location, out of direct sun or strong artificial light. Tires stored on the rims should be deflated to about 15 PSI (pounds per square inch) to avoid cracking or deformation.
Winter Tire Safety Tips
Living in Canada means dealing with cold, ice and snow, all of which can make for challenging driving conditions. The way your vehicle handles in these conditions can be greatly improved when the tires on all four of your vehicle's wheels are of the same type, size, speed rating and load index.
Featuring a combination of specialized tread designs and compounds to provide effective traction in cold, snowy conditions, winter tires are the safest tires for Canadian winters. Marked with the pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake, this symbol means your tires will meet the specific snow traction performance requirements - designed specifically for cold, snowy, icy and slippery driving. These tires are also designed for improved traction on cold, dry road surfaces.
Good Advice for Canadian Winter Drivers:
- Install Four Winter Tires.
- Do not mix tires: different tread patterns, size, construction can compromise vehicle performance and safety.
- Check your tires: worn treads have less traction on all surfaces, especially on ice and snow.
- Monitor tire pressure: in colder weather, the pressure in your tires drops. This affects safety and fuel consumption, so check your tires often.
The performance of your vehicle's tires is directly related to the temperature outside. As the temperature drops, even the best summer tires will fail to respond road conditions. All-season tires, while designed for all types of weather, will not perform as well in ice and cold.
As a rule, whenever the average outdoor temperature falls below or climbs above 7 degrees Celsius (19.4 degrees F), your tires will be affected. As the temperature drops, non-winter tires loose elasticity and the grip they have on the road. That's why the best tires to have when the temperature drops are winter tires. Conversely, winter tires will deteriorate faster in hotter temperatures.
All-Season Tires and Winter Driving
You can spot an all-season tire by the M+S (Mud + Snow) marking on the sidewall. All-season tires do provide safe all-weather performance. But remember, in severe winter snow conditions, they are not the safest choice.
What You Can Do
Protecting Yourself and Your Tires
The life and performance of your tires depends on how, when and where they are put to use. The way you drive will directly affect the lifespan of your tires and above all else, your safety.
Safe Driving Tips:
- Always observe the posted speed limit.
- Avoid fast starts, stops and turns.
- Avoid potholes and objects on the road.
- Do not run over curbs.
- Do not rub your tires against the curb when parking.
Regardless of how safely you drive, there is always the possibility of getting a flat tire. If this happens on the highway, drive slowly to the safest area, out of traffic. Although this may potentially further damage the tire and wheel, it can also prevent serious injury.
Watch our video on how to change a flat tire and refer to your vehicle's owner's manual for guidance.