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Prepare For Your Summer Road Trip With Continental Tire

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Ft. Mill, S.C. - May 22, 2013. Memorial Day signifies the start of summer and BBQ's, swimming pools and road trips. Whether you are heading to the beach, Grandma's house, or a trip down the famed Route 66, Continental Tire wants to help people across the U.S. save money, be kind to the environment, and arrive to their destinations confidently by providing a few easy maintenance tips.

Proper tire inflation is one of the easiest ways to save money, and it takes just a few minutes each month to check. However, a few statistics from surveys conducted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) demonstrate that many people don't take the time to check their tires:

Only 17% of vehicles had four properly inflated tires. (2010 RMA tire pressure survey)

55% of vehicles had at least one under inflated tire. (2010 RMA tire pressure survey)

Two out of three drivers do not check the tire pressure in their spare tire. (2013 RMA consumer survey)

Just 17% of motorists revealed that they know how to correctly check tire pressure. (2013 RMA consumer survey)

Why is proper tire inflation important? Under inflated tires cause U.S. drivers to waste 1.2 billion gallons of fuel annually and with gas prices reaching $4.00 a gallon, who can afford that. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, properly inflated tires can improve fuel efficiency by 3.3 percent and save 12 cents per gallon at the pump.

"We can't stress enough the importance of proper tire inflation," said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for Continental Tire. "It's one of the easiest ways to help improve fuel economy while prolonging the life of your tires and keeping your family safe on the road. And it only takes a few minutes each month."

Tire maintenance is the first line of defense when it comes to car maintenance. Continental Tire recommends that motorists take five minutes every month to check their tires, including the spare. The RMA's "Be Tire Smart"; Play Your PART program is an easy way for motorists to implement proper tire maintenance. PART, an acronym for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread, covers the four key elements of tire care which include:

Pressure - check tire pressure regularly, once per month and before every long trip, including the spare. Tire pressure should be checked when tires are cold (car has not been driven for at least three hours). The correct tire pressure can be found in the car owner manual, on the gas tank lid, the driver's side door edge, or on the door post. Tire pressure must be the same on the tires of each axle, but may be different on the front and rear axle. And remember to tightly close the valve caps to protect the valve from dust and dirt and to prevent leaking. Replace missing valve caps without delay.

Note: While new vehicles are equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), these systems issue a low pressure warning only after tire pressure drops 25 percent below the vehicle manufacturer's recommended pressure. In many cases a slight drop in air pressure would not trigger a warning light and would cause a loss of fuel economy and could lead to vehicle safety issue. Even with TPMS, motorists need to check tire pressure with a tire gauge every month.

Alignment - A jolt from hitting a pothole or curb can put a front end out of alignment and damage tires. Misalignment of wheels in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid treadwear and should be corrected by a tire dealer. Have the alignment checked periodically as specified by the vehicle' owner's manual or if trouble such as a "pulling" sensation or vibration is experienced.

Rotation - Unless a vehicle owner's manual has a specific recommendation, the guideline for tire rotation is approximately every 5,000-8,000 miles. Rotating a vehicle's tires regularly will help achieve more uniform wear. If uneven wear is experienced, ask a tire dealer to check for and correct any misalignment, imbalance or other mechanical problem involved before rotation.

Tread - Proper tread depth is essential to prevent hydroplaning and skidding. The minimum tread depth is 2/32nd of an inch (1.6 mm). Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to properly grip the road in adverse conditions. Visually check tires for uneven wear, looking for high and low areas or unusually smooth areas and any signs of damage. Motorists should also check sidewalls for gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities.

In addition to the PART program, it's important to replace tires with the same type of tires that came on the vehicle as original equipment (including tire size, type and speed rating). Other potential hazards to avoid include potholes, debris in the road, fast stops and starts, and hitting or driving over curbs. All of these things can cause tire trouble. Remember, when packing for that summer road trip, it's important not to overload a vehicle as that can shorten the tire life. Motorists can check the owner's manual for the vehicle's maximum load.

Just a few minutes each month will help motorists across the country save money, help the environment and arrive to their destinations confidently.

About Rubber Manufacturers Association
The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S. For more information, visit the RMA at

About Continental AG
With sales of $32.7 billion in 2012, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires, and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 173,000 employees in 46 countries.

About Continental Tire the Americas
Based in Fort Mill, S.C., Continental Tire the Americas, LLC manufactures and distributes a complete premium line of passenger, light truck and commercial tires for original equipment and replacement markets. Our ultra-high performance tires include award-winning technologies that focus on safety, help save money and reduce CO2 emissions. The ProContact EcoPlus and CrossContact LX20 were also awarded a Consumer's Digest Best Buy award in 2012. Continental's premium products are available at leading independent tire dealers, car dealers, and mass retail companies across North America. Continental Tire is a proud supporter of the GRAND-AM Road Racing Series, ALMS, Major League Soccer (MLS), West Coast Customs, the Las Vegas Invitational and Las Vegas Classic, Wendy's 3 Tour Challenge, Chris Rado, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, NSCAA, Petty's Garage, UNC Athletics, and Duke Athletics.