Tire safety tips to know before you hit the road this summer

The time for summer road trips is here. If you'll be loading up your car for a ride, here are some tips and tricks to staying safe on the roads.

The first thing you'll want to keep in mind is your spare tire.

"Check your trunk because a lot of times, we don't check the spares. So check your spares and the air pressure. Some new cars don't even have spares, so make sure you have a road side assistance plan," said Discount Tire Manager Juan Fonseca.

You also want to make sure your tires have been balanced and rotated within the last 6,000 miles.

Tire damage was the third most common reason AAA had to send out tow trucks in 2017.

Fonseca suggests that you don't overload your tires, especially during the hot summer months.

You don't always have to take a trip to the tire shop to make sure your tires are good to go.

Mechanic and owner of Auto Best Houston Inc. Fred Garcia says you can check your tire tread at home.

"It's very simple to inspect the tire. If you see it looks worn, it's time to be replaced, no longer than five years," Garcia said.

The penny trick makes checking your tread easy.

"All these lines here are the thread indicator when it wears out. If you don't see the mark anymore there, it's time to replace the tire," Garcia said.

Here's how the penny trick works.

Use Lincoln's head on the coin to guide you. If you don't see Lincoln's head, then you're in good shape. If you can see his head, that means your tread is too low.

But if you just want some peace of mind, Fonseca says you can take it to the professionals.

"We'll check the air pressure. We'll inspect those tires absolutely no charge. We also will rotate them for you that way your family and friends are safe," Fonseca explained.

I also found tirerack.com very helpful. They listed the tires I needed about $30 cheaper than what Discount Tire was selling them for.

Discount Tire then matched the price.

RELATED: Gas tank indicator arrow: A car's best secret
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.