Sunday, 3 November 2013

Don't Let Your Tires Get Weary - Prepare for Winter With New Tires

It's that time of year when the rain picks up and you start thinking about how much snow you're going to face this winter. In other words it's the time of year when every car owner's thoughts turn to their tires. When it comes to safety, tires may be more important than everything except brakes, and even there it is a toss-up.

Your tires are your car's only point of contact with the road. Everything you do you you do when you're driving you do through your tires. They transfer power to the road when you accelerate, grip the road when you corner, and are responsible for all your stopping power. If your tires slip, so do you.

Warm dry days can make any tire look good. The heat of the asphalt helps soften the tire and provide more grip. Tread is less important, and as it wears down it provides a bigger contact patch anyway. With all these factors combined, it's no surprise that most drivers don't worry too much about their tires in summer.

Fall and Winter is a whole different story. Wet roads are murder on bald tires, with the water getting under the tires and breaking contact with the road. Once a car starts hydroplaning, you lose all control because there is no physical connection between your car and the road. You're sliding on a thin layer of water, and all you can do is keep going in the same direction until you get some traction.

Snow is just as bad; if your tires don't have any tread, the best you can hope for is that you won't be going anywhere, and the worst that you'll be sliding into an accident. You may need chains or studded tires in some regions, but even if you don't you still need good winter tires.

That is why it is so important to make sure you have good tires before winter hits. The better your tires, the safer you and your family will be on the road. Always check your tires every fall, you can think of it as part of the back-to-school routine. On a front-wheel drive car, it may be practical to rotate the front tires, which do most of the work, to the back wheels and put new ones on the front on a regular basis.

Good tires not only make your car safer, they also improve both performance and fuel economy. All it takes is regular tire inspections for wear, and proper inflation. Checking your tires and changing them before they get too worn is something you should do before every winter. New winter tires are the key to safe winter driving. Don't get caught without them.

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