A Little Insight on Tires!
Written by Steve Favill
Some of the most overlooked, yet most vital, features on a modern motor vehicle are the tires. Most people never think to check their tire pressures, the neglect of which can lead to increased and irregular wear, poor gas mileage, bad handling characteristics and, most importantly, compromised safety.
You should check your tire pressures each time you refuel, although I don't know of anyone who actually does that. If you have someone rotate your tires for you, make certain that they then adjust the pressures accordingly. Failing to do so can be positively lethal on some vehicles, and tire pressures can vary front to rear.
Yes, tires are expensive, and you want to squeeze the most service that you can out of them, but if you're running on worn rubber you are rolling the dice every time that you set out, and wet roads increases the likelihood of you losing grip and, consequently, control of your vehicle. Snow increases that danger ten-fold. If you can get someone to check the tread depth on your tires, it would be worth considering replacement if the remaining tread measures 5/32" or less. The more worn your tires, the less traction and less braking efficiency you will have.
The newer your tires, the better grip they will provide in poor conditions.
To generalize, there are several different types of tire: Performance tires, All-Season tires and snow, or winter, tires. Performance tires are great at providing traction on dry roads, but add a little snow and they are useless. Wonderful if you live in the southern states, but in Wisconsin? Not so much... All-Season tires are what you most likely have on your vehicle right now. Designed to provide good performance in a variety of road conditions, these tires are all-rounders, but don't excel at any one thing. Winter tires have a softer compound, and a more aggressive tread pattern which allows for more grip on snow-covered roads.
These are not intended to replace regular all-season tires year-round. Many customers have a set of winter tires mounted on an extra set of rims, so that these can simply be mounted in places of the regular wheels at the onset of winter.
Before the snow starts flying you should visit our service department, and get your tires checked. Your tires might be fine, but it's always wise to find out before the worst happens. If you happen to need new tires, there are usually good deals to had, and it's definitely worth the investment!