Every fall season, many drivers find themselves in the dreaded, snow-tire debate: to buy or not to buy. If you live in an area prone to heavy snow and extreme cold (like the Northeast), your safest option is to purchase a set of snow tires. They are designed with increased tread and temperature-withstanding com-pounds that can keep tire material structure pliable in extreme cold, giving you better traction.
Even the best all-season tires won't do any good if they don't have adequate tread on them. Use the tried and true penny test to ensure that your tires have sufficient tread: insert a penny (with Lincoln's head pointing down) in between the raised portions of your tire's tread. If you cannot see the top of Lincoln's head, then your tires have sufficient tread; if you can, it may be time to purchase new tires.
Use this method to check the tread in various places on each tire to ensure that your tires are wearing evenly as well. Uneven wear could imply that you have an alignment problem, another issue that could affect your vehicle's ability to maneuver on slick, snow-covered roads.
Proper Tire Inflation
When was the last time you checked the air pressure in your tires? If the answer is before the temperature dropped, get your vehicle to an air pump. For every 10-degree drop in temperature, your tires lose one psi of air, meaning that tires that were properly inflated during the summer could now be at a dangerously low psi, affecting your car's maneuverability and traction. Improper inflation can also affect things like your gas mileage and tire wear. So regularly check your tire's psi and make sure that tires are inflated to the levels specified in your owner's manual.
Be sure that you are checking your tires regularly. They play a crucial role in your car's ability to maneuver and stop, two functions you do not want to be compromise. For more winter-preparation tips and information, log-on to www.preferredmutual.com.