CAA South Central Ontario recommends paying special attention when changing your tires this year
Thornhill, ON—Your vehicle has survived the harsh winter, and with the temperature reaching a consistent 7°C, it’s time to bring out your maintenance checklist and, most importantly, change your tires.
CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) suggests one item to keep in mind that may not be on your list, is checking your tires to minimize the likelihood of wheel separation. A wheel separation is the unintended release of any active wheel from a moving vehicle. These incidents occur most commonly during the months of May through August after motorists switch from winter to all season tires.
“Wheel separation can not only cause traffic congestion from broken down vehicles, but also property damage, injuries and even fatalities,” said Kaitlynn Furse, public relations manager, CAA SCO. “It is important to pay careful attention when changing your tires whether you or your local repair facility make the switch.”
According to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), wheel separations in light-duty vehicles are a significant but largely unknown problem in southern Ontario. Drivers should keep in mind that wheels do not just separate from heavy trucks, but also from cars, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-up trucks.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) data shows that over the four years ending December 2016 that wheel separations from light-duty vehicles occurred in cars 42 per cent of the time, with SUVs and pick-up trucks also at a higher risk of 18 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.
According to the MTO, 85 percent of wheel separation incidents are caused by a fastener failure, when the lug nuts or bolts holding the wheel in place come loose or break, causing the wheel to come off of the vehicle. CAA SCO recommends following industry standards for wheel installation which includes:
If you are unsure about any part of the installation of a wheel on your vehicle, be sure to take the vehicle to a qualified shop for its seasonal tire change. CAA has compiled a list of Approved Auto Repair Service facilities that have been vetted for quality service standards.
To make sure your vehicle is all ready to go, you can follow these seven easy tips for your spring maintenance: