Be honest, how much time did you spend picking out the perfect car seat for your baby? An hour? Two? Maybe two days? Okay less be real, you read several blogs, watched several Baby Gizmo video reviews, poured over Amazon reviews like you were being tested for some final exam, and then found some time to highlight Baby Bargains. Does any of that sound familiar?
As parents, we spend inordinate amounts of time ensuring that our kids have the safest and best products. That’s just part and parcel of being a mom in 2014. Others may call us moms, but really we are mini-research machines.
When it comes to the safety of our families, as parents we do everything possible to make sure we are protected.
But what if I were to tell you that you overlooked something that might be even MORE important than selecting the perfect car seat? Something as a woman and a mom, you use every single day, but like me, may never give any thought about. What if something so important, so paramount to the safety of your family was left off this list of careful planning and execution?
I know what you would say…of course not. What else could I be missing? I read every blog and crossed off everything on the babyproofing checklist!
Think about the car that you get in to one to ten times a day. We babyproof our house. Maybe our parents house too. But do we babyproof our cars? Do we even give the safety of our cars a second thought, other than ensuring that we have airbags, seat belts and such?
Better yet, do you ensure that your car is in good condition, and that those tires, the only part of your car that actually touches the road are safe and in good condition?
Because after all, what good is the latest car seat, when the only thing actually touching the ground and truly ensuring your family’s safety might be under-inflated, worn thin, missing tread or worse?
So let’s talk tires. I know, they may not be the *sexiest* topic, because after all, they don’t quite have the appeal of the latest baby monitor or bottle, but they are actually more important, if not the most important thing that you can do to ensure the safety of your little one.
When you buy a new car, it comes with tires that are pretty standard, kind of like the builder-grade selections that a home-builder would choose. Often not the worst, but usually not the best. Your first opportunity to select tires for your family often comes between 20,000 and 30,000 miles, as you run through the tread on your first set of wheels. Note, the tires that come on a new car almost never last as long as the replacement set that you will select. They often contain much less tread, and again their quality is not the highest.
So when it is time for you to choose tires for your family, what are you going to do? If you’re like me, you call your dad or husband. Because I didn’t know the first thing about tires until recently. Which means I could not make an informed decision, and I would basically buy whatever I was told by the person at the tire shop, which means I am subjected to whatever they decide is best for me. And just like all stores, they often have incentives to sell certain things (clear inventory, the items they get the most mark-up on, etc) and that is often not what is really best for you.
So how do you know what is best for you and your car? How about a tire that actually shows you when the tire is wearing out? A tire that has a warranty to 80,000 miles, is tested and re-tested and then tested some more at a facility built solely for them, by everyone from moms to professional race car drivers?
What I love about the brand-new Cooper Tire CS5 Tires is that you can visually see when the tire tread is wearing thin. Called their “Wear Square,” there is a square on the tire that slowly changes from an actual square shape to a U, then a L, then a straight line and then a finally a !. Guess when you need to change your tire?? No need to rely on your auto mechanic (who you always worry is trying to screw you out of money) or anyone else, as you can SEE, with your own eyes, whether your tires need to be changed.
Now how is that for peace of mind and mom empowerment?
Another thing that I love is that these tires are backed by a warranty. An amazing warranty, that protects tire tread for 80,000 miles. That’s a LOT of mileage! Think about it, the warranty on those tires will long outlast the amount of time your child spends in one car seat unless you drive across the country each week. And really…no parent can spend that much time in the car with little ones!
The best part is that now, when your tires on your car start to wear out, you can intelligently go into a tire shop and say, I would like four CS5 Tires. Just wait for the guy at the desk’s jaw to drop, with a kid or two on each arm! Or…you can try out the Tire Selector. Just select your car’s year, make and model, and this will tell you which tires fit your car best. Easy as 1, 2, here’s your tires!
One quick note. What happens if you can only afford two tires at the time? Or if only two of your tires are wearing low on tread? Well, while it is always best to replace all four tires at the same time if you can, if not, do not fear. There is just one thing you need to know. OLD tires go on the FRONT of the car and the NEW tires go on the BACK of the car. This ensures that your car tires will properly grip the road and give you the best traction.
And now I will let you get back to shopping…for baby gear. Or maybe even something for yourself!
**This post is based on the experiences and information learned by Club MomMe from a trip sponsored by Cooper Tire to their testing facility in San Antonio. All views and opinions expressed are those of Club MomMe, and are not influenced by this trip. However we did learn a LOT! **