An important part of making sure that your car is ready for Utah’s wintry weather is taking care of tire replacement and maintenance.
Cold temperatures and icy road conditions can be challenging for your tires and potentially put you at risk for accidents or getting stranded on the roadside. Here’s how to take care of your tires and stay safe on the roads this winter.
Choose the Right Tires for Utah’s Winter Weather
Years ago, winter tire maintenance meant switching out your regular tires for snow tires.
While this was a great idea for roads that were covered in snow, it wasn’t so safe on dry or wet roads, no matter how cold the temperature may be. Drivers found that stopping quickly on dry roads could ruin the tire’s tread, and wet roads often caused sliding when stopping.
Fortunately, today’s winter tires are completely different. These days, winter tires are designed to perform on wet and dry roads as well as they do on snow and ice. Installing winter tires can provide you with the extra grip and turning capability you need in harsh weather. Many experts even recommend this tire maintenance step for vehicles with all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, as it enhances your safety on the road.
Check Your Tires’ Air Pressure
When it gets cold outside, your tires react by losing pressure. For this reason, checking your air pressure at least once a month is essential tire maintenance.
You won’t always be able to tell if your tires are underinflated just by looking at them – you’ll need to use a digital tire gauge. To get an accurate reading, test the air pressure when the tires are cold, either after your vehicle has been stationary for a few hours or after less than one mile of driving. Use the manufacturer guidelines for your vehicle, found in your owner’s manual or on a sticker on the driver’s door, to determine the amount of inflation you need to adjust.
Store Tires Properly
If you choose to use winter tires, you’ll need to store your regular tires for use when the weather improves. Don’t just toss them into any unused spot, as proper storage can help ensure that their appearance and performance is preserved.
For optimal tire maintenance, choose a location that is clean and dark, away from sunlight and sources of heat. Place the tires on a surface that is free of gas, grease and other elements that could cause the rubber to deteriorate. You can store them outside but be sure to elevate them off the ground and use a perforated, waterproof cover to protect them from the elements and control moisture. If your regular tires are whitewalls or have white lettering, store them with the white sides facing each other to avoid staining.
Better yet, consider upgrading to new, long-life tires when spring rolls around.
Located in Midvale, Utah RUSH Diesel & Automotive offers a full range of automotive repair services as well as tire replacement, balancing and alignment. Visit us today for help with your tires, to make sure you’re ready for the coming winter weather.