Some drivers may find it difficult to use their cars during the winter. In several areas, the winter is likely to be more hazardous than other ones with snow-covered and icy roads. These weather conditions make roads more challenging than ever.
Yet, your car tires can be the key factors that decide how challenging your experience will be. So, how to take care of your car tires during winter? This article is going to give you some tips and help you prepare your car tires well for the winter weather.
What Kinds of Tires Should We Use in The Winter?
Normally, the car tires are designed differently for each purpose and each road condition. Thus, you should check the types of your car’s tires to have a good preparation before setting off your journey.
1. Snow tires
Snow tires can provide traction the most among all types. Also, you can take advantage of handling control and braking when driving on ice and snow in the winter if you use these tires.
Drivers’ preference is mainly the snow tires due to their features. They can stay pliable and grip the road well in the cold temperature. However, these tires should be used when the snow season starts and removed when the weather becomes warmer.
2. All-weather tires
There are two main models of all-weather tires including one for light snow or rain and one for more hazardous conditions. Some challenging conditions are moderate snow or mud.
The traction of these tires is better than other types of thanks to their tread. The tread can expel water well. Although they are quite supple in the cold weather, they cannot provide much more traction than the snow tires do.
3. All season tires
These tires can provide moderate traction in a lot of conditions such as rain, light snow. Yet, we cannot use them in extreme weather. In other words, we should use this type of tire when the temperature stays above freezing.
Besides, the all-season tires are made of hard compounds so that they can serve you for a long time. They become hardened and offer less traction when the temperature is about 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below.
4. Studded tires
There are small metal points equipped with the tread of these tires. This feature can pierce and grip ice and snow. However, you cannot drive them smoothly on the sidewalk and some states do not allow you to use them.
Some Tips for Tire Maintenance
1. Regular tire tread checking
If you want your car tires to grip the road better, you should pay attention to their treads. According to the NHTSA, the tread depth is 2/32 of an inch at least. To test the tread depth, you can put a coin into a groove of the tread.
But how to use the coin? Keep the coin between your forefinger and your thumb so that you can see Lincoln’s head. If you see the tread obscure Lincoln’s head, it means your car tire tread is safe to use. In case Lincoln’s head is seen, you should replace a new tire.
2. Learn to use the tire gauge
Generally, car tires will lose around 1 psi monthly. Moreover, the gas mileage will suffer in case the tires are underinflated. That is when you need to use the tire gauge.
To use the tire gauge, you should take the valve cap off the tire first. Then, you put the open end of the gauge on the valve and apply pressure. At the same time, you should look at the measurement to stop at the right time.
There is a bar measuring psi and it is near to the gauge. It is better to check the pressure the tire is cold so that you will have an accurate result. One more tip is that you should check when your car does not drive for three hours at least.
3. Ensure the tires are appropriately inflated
If your car tires are not properly inflated, you might encounter some problems with the handling. Especially, when the temperature drops, your tire may lose pressure. So that is why you must check the pressure of your tires regularly during the winter.
You can find the proper pressure number for your car’s tires in the manual or inside the car’s door. Besides the tire gauge, you can use the air compressor in order to inflate your car tires. In case they are overinflated, you had better use a small bead to release the air.
4. Learn about the pressure alert
Nowadays, almost all vehicles are equipped with all kinds of sensors. Take the battery and low fuel as examples in this situation. Also, the new model has a monitoring system so that you see the alert if the pressure falls under 25%.
The light will encircle nearly with an exclamation point. So, when you see this alert, it is advised to test the psi and fill the tires to the proper level.
5. Rotate the car tires
If the wheels of your car tires do not have a different size on both the front and back sides, you should rotate them more often. It is recommended to rotate each 8,000 to 12,000 kilometers.
When rotating, the back wheel should move forward the front and vice versa. By doing that, you can distribute the tear or wear evenly. Simultaneously, you should ask for advice from the mechanic and have him check the tire alignment.
Briefly, you should follow the tips mentioned above for your safety when driving in the winter. The most important tip is to install snow tires for your car to ensure traction. Besides, you can use tires with snowflakes and mountain icons.
Hopefully, you can make use of these tips and be contented with this article on how to take care of your car tires during winter.