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Baby it’s Cold Outside: Care for Your Winter Tires

Don't Give Your Vehicle the Cold Shoulder; make sure it's outfitted with the proper tires this winter.

As the winter season approaches, it's essential to ensure that your vehicle is prepared to handle the challenges that cold weather, snow, and ice can bring. Winter tires play a critical role in keeping you safe on our winter roads. These specially designed tires are your first line of defense against treacherous winter road conditions. The NAPA AUTO CARE CENTERS in Madison, Wisconsin explore the importance of winter tire care and offer valuable tips to keep them in optimal condition.

  1. Install Winter Tires. Before delving into winter tire care, it's vital to make sure you have the right tires installed. Winter tires, also known as snow tires, are engineered to provide superior traction, control, and handling in cold, snowy, and icy conditions. They feature a unique rubber compound that remains flexible in low temperatures and tread patterns designed to grip slippery surfaces. (Using all-season tires in winter weather is not recommended, as they lack the specialized features of winter tires).
  1. Check Tire Pressure Regularly. Cold weather can cause tire pressure to drop, which can lead to reduced traction and handling. Therefore, proper tire pressure is crucial for safe winter driving. Check your tire pressure at least once a month, and be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the optimal PSI (pounds per square inch).
  1. Inspect Tread Depth. Tread depth is essential for maintaining traction on slippery winter roads. A simple way to check the tread depth of your winter tires is by using the "penny test." Insert a penny upside down into the tread grooves. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, it's time to replace your tires. Insufficient tread depth can lead to hydroplaning and increased braking distances.
  1. Rotate Your Tires. Regular tire rotation helps ensure even wear, extending the lifespan of your winter tires. By rotating your tires, you can distribute the wear more evenly and maintain optimal performance throughout the winter.
  1. Keep an Eye on Wheel Alignment. Hitting potholes or curbs can easily throw your wheels out of alignment, leading to poor handling and reduced tire life. If you notice your vehicle pulling to one side or uneven wear on your tires, it's time to schedule a wheel alignment check with a professional.
  1. Store Your Winter Tires Properly. Once the winter season is over, it's crucial to store your winter tires correctly to preserve their quality. Clean the tires to remove any salt or debris and store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Many people choose to place their winter tires in tire bags to protect them from dust and damage. Storing them properly will help ensure they're in good condition for the following winter.

By installing the right tires, maintaining proper tire pressure, checking tread depth, rotating your tires, and keeping your wheels aligned, you can ensure your vehicle's reliability and performance in the toughest winter conditions. Don't overlook these essential maintenance tasks, and remember that a little care for your winter tires goes a long way in keeping you safe on the roads during the cold months.

If you need help with winter tires, Madison Auto Care Centers is the group of Wisconsin's top auto service centers here to help. Choose from HANSEN’S AUTO on Park Street, CAPITOL TIRE on Odana Road, GENIN’S AUTO on University Ave, HANDEL AUTO on Monona Drive, CLAUSEN AUTO on Stoughton Road, or AESCHBACH AUTO on Hwy. 14. Madison Auto Care Centers care about our customers. So, stay safe, stay prepared, and enjoy a worry-free winter driving experience.


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