The change into winter not only brings snow, ice and freezing rain, but it also brings many difficult challenges; especially when it involves the safe operation of your vehicle. There are many precautions you can take before winter arrives to ensure your car is safe during the cold months ahead. Right now, is the best time to get these things sorted, to make sure you won’t be stuck without an option when you need it the most.
One of the most important things to get right through winter is controlling the health of your vehicle’s tires. Because winter tires normally have rugged tread designs they are more likely to irregularly wear from a range of simple issues like suspension misalignment or worn parts. There are many factors that can influence these issues, and it’s a really good idea to sort them before winter comes around.
The most important issue to deal with from the get-go is tire air pressure. Because temperatures fluctuate during winter, you can’t just and forget your tire pressure, because many factors alter the pressure, even as often as hourly; depending on temperatures.
The correct air pressure inside your tires is necessary for controlled handling, traction and durability. The pressure must be checked each day before driving.
Air pressure changes as temperature changes
From the beginning of winter, you should check your tire pressure more regularly than normal, especially if temperatures drop suddenly, or snow begins to fall. It’s most crucial at this time because air pressure can change dramatically with temperature changes.
Each10-degree Fahrenheit variation in the outside temperature can alter your tires air pressure by at least 1psi, so if the temperature dramatically drops overnight, it can cause your tires to deflate.
Another issues winter air can bring to your tires is when moisture gets into your valves, it can freeze the valve, and allow air to escape.
If the air is not at the recommended pressure in your tires, no matter what time of year it is, your tires will wear unevenly, your fuel consumption will increase and other parts of your vehicle will be used excessively to adapt to the tire pressure changes.
Adjust for dramatic temperature changes
One important thing to note, is that if your vehicle is parked in a heated area of your home, like your internal garage, it can affect the pressure as soon as you drive on cold ground, so it’s a great idea to check your pressure each day before you drive, and add an extra pond of pressure for every 10 degrees difference outside.
Most winter tires need to be aligned to a different camber to normal tires as well, as too much positive or negative camber can wear out the edges of your tires. The vehicle manufacturers’ preferred toe settings should be used with winter tires and a performance setting should be used for summer.
The best way to ensure your tires and vehicle are ready for winter is by letting the professionals handle it. Give us a call today.