Navigating Winter with Ease
Winter is here, and it's time to start thinking about your vehicle's safety. One crucial aspect of winter driving is having the right tires. Winter tires can make a massive difference in your car's performance and keep you safe on the road. With many winter collisions being preventable had the driver been using the right tires for the weather, it's important to do your part in not only protecting yourself but also innocent bystanders on the road. To help you stay safe and on the road this winter, we've compiled a list of 8 essential winter tire tips.
1. Know Your Tires
Before you hit the road in winter, make sure you know what type of tires your vehicle needs. All-season tires may not be suitable for harsh winter conditions, so consider investing in winter tires if you live in an area with heavy snow and ice. It's also worth noting that there are various levels of winter faced by different parts of the country. For instance, Minnesotans may need better tread and grip than those living in a state with more moderate winters.
2. Check Your Tire Pressure
Tire pressure can significantly impact the performance of your vehicle, especially in cold weather. As temperatures drop, so does tire pressure. Make sure you're regularly checking and adjusting your tire pressure to ensure optimal performance and safety on the road. As a rule of thumb, for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit drop in temperature, your tires will lose one pound per square inch (PSI) of pressure. So monitor your tire pressure closely during the winter months.
3. Rotate Your Tires
Tire rotation is a vital aspect of maintenance that often gets overlooked. Regularly rotating your tires can help evenly distribute wear and tear, leading to a longer lifespan and better performance. It's recommended to rotate your tires every 5,000-7,500 miles or per your vehicle manufacturer's guidelines.
4. Check Your Tread Depth
Having proper tread depth is essential for maintaining traction on snowy and icy roads. The minimum recommended tread depth for winter tires is 6/32 inches (4.8mm). You can easily check your tread depth using a penny. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, it's time to replace your tires.
5. Consider Snow Chains
In extreme winter conditions, snow chains can provide an extra level of traction for your vehicle. They are typically used on roads that require them and should be removed when driving on clear roads. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the proper way to install and remove snow chains before using them.
6. Know When to Put on Winter Tires
It's essential to know when it's time to switch from all-season tires to winter tires. As a general rule, if the temperature consistently drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, it's time to put on your winter tires. This will ensure optimal performance and safety during the colder months. But, you will also want to avoid putting them on too early or forgetting to remove them because dry roads will wear down your winter tires faster, so be sure to also get them removed when temperatures return steadily above 45 degrees Fahrenheit in the spring.
7. Use the Right Type of Winter Tires
Not all winter tires are created equal, and it's crucial to choose the right type for your vehicle. There are three main types of winter tires: studded, non-studded and performance. Studded tires have metal studs embedded in them for better traction on icy roads, while non-studded tires rely on their tread pattern for grip. Performance winter tires are designed for high-performance vehicles and provide better handling and braking in cold and snowy conditions.
8. Seek Professional Help When Unsure
Changing tires is not rocket science but it does involve some technical knowledge. If you're unsure about the type of winter tires to use or how to install them, it's best to seek professional help. A certified mechanic at Discount Tire or other shops can guide you in selecting the right tires for your vehicle and ensure proper installation for optimal performance and safety. They can also provide advice on tire maintenance during the winter months.
Winter roads can quickly become treacherous, and driving with the wrong tires can put you and others at risk. By following these tips, you can ensure your vehicle is equipped with the right winter tires for optimal performance and safety on the road. So, be prepared and stay safe this winter by doing your part in winter tire maintenance. Remember, it's not just about safety but also about prolonging the life of your tires and saving money in the long run. Stay safe!
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