With winter right around the corner (and already here for certain parts of the country), it’s time to start thinking about getting your tires ready for the ice and cold. Learn how to prepare your tires for the upcoming winter season with Mobile Detailing Pros’s complete guide.
Check Your Tire Tread Depth
In order to ensure you travel safely on the road this winter, you need to make sure your tire tread is in acceptable condition. You need durable tread in a healthy state to ensure that your tires won’t lose their grip on the road, sending you sliding into a collision. Shallow tread is dangerous in the winter, so be sure you change your tire if the tread is too low.
It’s important to note that, while your car will theoretically be fine if you wear them down to 2/32 of an inch, that is not a guarantee. All cars and tires are different and each set of conditions could lead to an increased or shortened longevity. It might be better to consult with a mechanic before your tires get that low to see if they recommend replacing them sooner.
Measuring Tire Tread
The typical rule of thumb is to replace your tires once the tread gets down to 2/32 of an inch. You can check your tread with a depth gauge if you have one, but you could use the penny test and save yourself some money: place a penny into a groove in the tread upside down; if part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread on the tire, you’re in the clear. However, if the entirety of his head is visible, it’s time to replace your tires.
Examine Tread Wear Patterns
While you’re looking at the tread on your tires, examine closely how the level of wear might vary at the outer edge, center, and inside edge of the tire. If the measurements aren’t the same in all three of these locations, then your tires aren’t wearing evenly. This could be indicative of an alignment or suspension issue, or could just mean that your tires are over- or under-inflated.
Estimate the Age of Your Tires
As tires age, they lose integrity and become more vulnerable to damage/failure, as with most products. Many tire companies recommend replacing your tires after 6-10 years, but the level of care you show your tires and their level of exposure to the elements could have an effect on that estimation.
You can determine the age of your tires by looking at the sidewall of your tire. There, you’ll find the seven-digit Tire Identification Number (TIN), the last two numbers of which will indicate the year your tires were manufactured.
Prepare Yourself with Snow Chains
If you’re going to be driving in snowy conditions, don’t leave without having snow chains in your vehicle for your tires in case you need them. These are a state requirement in a lot of places where hazardous snowy conditions are common and an important safety measure.
Keep Up with Regular Maintenance
The best way to ensure your car and tires are in tip-top condition and are sure to keep you safe this winter is to keep up with regular inspections and maintenance procedures, like oil changes and tire rotations. This regularly scheduled maintenance will help ensure everything will function as it should, help you to take precautions to ward off potential failures or damages and help to catch potential problems early. Be sure that you’re keeping up with regularly scheduled maintenance, especially in the winter.
Keep safe no matter where you’re traveling this winter with Mobile Detailing Pros’s easy-to-follow, winter-prepping guide! If you follow all these steps, you’re sure to keep your tires in top condition, protecting you from potential damages or failures.