Car Preparation – Tires, Spare & Safety Kit

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,431
    Brian Trochelmann, Service Manager at Fairfax Motors, demonstrates how to prepare your car for a road trip including tires, supply toolkits and road safety kits.

    Brian Trochelmann: I am Brian Trochelmann, Service Manager at Fairfax Motors and I am showing you today how to prepare your car for a road trip. Now we are going to be giving a quick glance to the exterior of a car including tires, spare, supply toolkits and road safety kits. We are going to now inspect the tires. Most car manufacturers have a label affixed to the inside of the door-jam on the driver side door that will advice you of the proper inflation ratio for your front and rear tires.

    First, we are going to just bend over and just take a quick look at the tire, making sure that the tread doesn't seem completely worn. If it seems completely worn, it would make no sense to continue any further. We will then know we need new tires. We are also just going to take a quick inspection of the side-wall to make sure that there are no cuts, that there is no intrusion by any type of a debris that we might have picked up on the side of the road. Then, what we are going to be doing, we are going to just take the inspection of the tire-tread a little further. We are going to grab a penny and everyone who has heard of the penny check, we are just going to grab the penny and we have Abraham Lincoln here and what we are going to do, we are going to insert the penny in the center of the tire into one of the treads to see if we can still see his head or not. So we are just going to bend over and we are going to just stick the penny into the tire tread and we see that the top of Abraham Lincoln's head is in the tread. So we know we have proper tread depth. Now that we have inspected the tire-tread and the exterior of the tire, we want to make sure that the tire is properly inflated. The inflation of the tire is very important for many reasons. Number one and first and foremost to maximize the life of our tires. If it's over-inflated, it's going to wear the center of the tire faster. If it's under-inflated, it's going to wear the outsides of the tires faster. Also, the inflation has a great impact on the fuel economy our cars are going to be receiving. Once we have verified the proper inflation ratio of this tire in the driver side door, we are going to just remove the safety-cap and this is just basically there to avoid any intrusion of dirt into the valve. Also it has a very small overing in the cap. So if the Schrader Valve leaks slightly, this will prevent it from becoming a major problem. Then we just take a standard tire gauge, we insert it and then we verify that the proper inflation pressure is 44 psi. Since this tire is properly inflated, we want to make sure we take the valve-cap and reinstall it, making sure it's nice and tight because we don't want to loose it. Now that we have done that, we are going to repeat this and issue the tires around the car. Now we are going to turn our attention to the spare. We are going to be just taking a visual inspection of the spare to make sure a) it's there and b) what kind of spare it is? On this car, the spare is underneath a cover and it's a space-saver spare. So this space-saver spare is inflated. So we are not going to have any problems with the spare. On top of the spare in this car is the jack, the lug wrench and also the key for the lockable lock-nuts on the tires. All BMWs are equipped with the toolkit and it consists of a couple of wrenches, a toe hook and what this toe hook is for, it gets inserted into the front or the rear bumper to assist with the toeing of a car and also a screwdriver that can be turned from a regular straight slot screwdriver into a Phillips head. This car happens to come equipped with a first-aid kit but that is not a standard feature on all cars. If you do not have this toolkit, it would be advisable to have something that includes at the minimum, a straight slot screwdriver and or Phillips. We have here an emergency kit that can be purchased at any part store, that's going to have the necessary items. These items would include as in this kit, a flash light, a first-aid kit, a straight slot screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, some WD 40, a fix-a-flat and also a rag that when you are on the side of the road, you can clean up, road flares. Then on the other side this kit has a safety-vest that could be put on that you don't get run over while you are on the side of the road. Also it has a set of jumper-cables and a cigarette lighter operated tire inflater. So we really have everything that we might need in the case of an emergency or breakdown on the side of the road. Next we are going to be turning our attention to the exterior lighting of the car. We are going to be inspecting the front and the rear lights.