SNOW TIRES, DO WE REALLY NEED THEM?
You’ve had your car serviced in anticipation of winter, and you’ve got your emergency kit safely stowed in the trunk, so you’re ready to hit the road, right? If you’re counting on all-season tires to get you where you’re going, you may not be as ready as you think. In areas where ice, snow, and cold temperatures are a constant in winter, it’s a much better bet to switch to winter tires.
A recent survey commissioned by Michelin and focusing on the United States found that only two in five Americans who live in colder climates use winter tires. The reasons for this varied: some felt that all-season tires were enough during the winter, while others believed that having an all-wheel-drive vehicle meant they didn’t need winter tires. The people without winter tires voiced their primary concerns about driving in wintry weather as having to do with someone else losing control or getting stuck, while those who favor winter tires were more confident driving in bad conditions, and less concerned about other drivers.
What makes winter tires more effective? Winter tires have a flexible rubber compound and a tread that’s designed to be used on snow, slush, and in cold weather. These tires help increase traction during acceleration, make stopping distances shorter, and increase directional stability. The deep slits in the tire treads of winter tires help prevent hydroplaning, and the traction is between 25 and 50 percent higher than that of all-season tires. Additionally, while all-season tires can get hard when it’s cold outside, winter tires maintain their flexibility, which makes them function more effectively.
With all of that said, Do we really need snow tires? Well... Let's just say WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND IT.
Ready to install your winter tires? Here are a few things to remember:
1. Always install the entire set at once. Having all four tires put on the car at once helps your car remain controlled and balanced in bad weather while installing only two creates a traction mismatch that can negatively affect handling.
2. Maintain the right tire pressure. Keeping your tires at the right pressure improves traction and durability, and makes handling easier.
3. Check your inflation at the beginning of the season. When the air begins to get cool, the air inside your tires can contract.
4. Make sure the valve caps are on. Leaving them off can create a moisture freeze inside the valve, and that will allow air to escape.
5. Look for the sign of the snowflake. Tires that meet safety standards for snow have a snowflake symbol on the sidewall, which helps distinguish them from other tires.
6. Drive safely. Even with winter tires, the safety of your vehicle in winter is up to you. Drive in a controlled manner, being especially careful on ice, snow, and slush.
7. VISIT COMPLETE AUTO MAINTENANCE CENTERS TO TOP OFF YOUR FLUIDS, GET NEW WINDSHIELD WIPER BLADES TO MAKE SURE YOUR CAR IS WINTER WORTHY.
Thanks to Jerry's Toyota for this invaluable news.
ARE YOUR FLUIDS TOPPED OFF?
Did you know if you are a COMPLETE AUTO MAINTENANCE CENTERS' customer, you can get your fluids topped off for FREE in between oil changes.*
Topping off your fluids during winter is paramount. All too often we go about our day to day, forgetting that we just used a gallon of windshield wiper fluid the previous day following that semi-truck on the way home from work. You see, vehicles in front of us spray water, slush and SALT onto our windshields when we follow too closely. We can use our windshield wipers to clear the slush and water, but salt is simply smeared. In this scenario we can simply use washer fluid to clear the salt; but what happens when we run out of windshield washer fluid? It can be very scary when the salt is spread so much that we can no longer see the road. This is why it is important to keep your windshield washer fluid topped off.
GOOD WINDSHIELD WIPERS... A MUST!
If you wear glasses, it is "clear" that your vision is different when you take them off. The difference between new wiper blades and old ones can be similar when you are driving. Just because you can "kind of see" isn't worth the risk. A good rule of thumb is to replace your blades before snow fall and definitely before the salt trucks hit the road. A good set of blades can clear more of the salt than an older warn out blade. Having new blades can save you money in fluids and possibly save a life.
Swing by one of our five Complete Auto Maintenance Centers to review your car's fluid needs, tire rotation and wiper blades to make sure you are ready for the wintery roads.
* See store for details.