Preparing Your Tires for Colder Weather

January 24th, 2018 by

Closeup of car tires in winter on the road covered with snow

Routine tire care is a crucial aspect of maintaining driver safety. Without tires, your morning commute may prove difficult! To ensure your safety, maximize gas mileage, and prolong your tires’ lifespan, we at Acura of Fayetteville advise that you follow these four important steps from the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

Proper tire inflation plays a key role in avoiding tire failure, which could result in injury or vehicle damage. Over inflation can be just as dangerous as under inflation. The amount of inflation your tires require can be found in multiple places such as the vehicle door edge, glove box, door post, owner manual, or fuel door. Inflation checks should be performed once a month and before long road trips. The best time to check your tires is three hours after driving, when they are completely cooled – don’t forget to check the spare! After checking the inflation, give your tires a good look to make sure no sharp objects are embedded and no gauges or cuts are in the sidewalls. Keep in mind; tire inflation increases in warm weather and decreases in cold weather, one to two pounds for every ten degrees difference.

Alignment of the wheels has a significant role in how long your tires serve your vehicle. Have your local dealer check your alignment and balance periodically as specified in the owner’s manual.

Tire rotation prevents uneven wear and while most owners’ manuals specify the recommended rotation period, most should be rotated approximately every 5,000-8,000 miles. Always check inflation after rotation.

Replacement of tires should occur when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch. Resistance to bad weather and hydroplaning is reduced with wear but fear not – a simple penny test can determine the amount of wear. Place a penny upside-down in a tread groove. If your tire covers part of Lincoln’s head, you’re good to go. If you can see all of his head, you should replace the tire. Tread indicators or “wear bars” will appear when the tread is down to 2/32 of an inch. When the wear bars are flush with the tire, replace it! Again, visual checks for high and low irregular wear areas should be performed frequently.

Other important information from the RMA:

– Always buckle your seatbelt!

– Vehicles equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System warn drivers when tires are 25 percent under inflated but unfortunately the warning may occur too late. The absolute best way to avoid tire failure is properly checking them yourself.

– Regular tire care helps promote a better fuel economy and limits your replacements.

Get in touch with our team at Acura of Fayetteville and book an appointment for a tire checkup.

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