Tires with traction take some of the stress out of winter driving
There’s just something about that first snow, a blanket of white covering roads and landscape and sparkling under street lights at night. It brings out that youthful sense of wonder in even the most ardent individual who has sworn to have shoveled their last driveway. Of course, the wonderful world of snow leaves something to be desired when someone climbs behind the wheel and tries to drive on the stuff.
Slllliiippppperrrryyyy – that’s the word that comes to mind. But, not to worry, after all, you’ve got a good set of meats on the corners, right?
Meats? You know, tires, el grabo de roados. You do have a good set of tires on the car, don’t you? A set of tires that can ‘grab’ the road through a layer of snow help to prolong the pleasure of admiring a winter wonderland. But, if the treads are worn, that sense of wonder can turn to anguish in a heartbeat.
Tires are where your car meets the road quite literally. The key is traction.
“If you’ve got tires that provide good traction, you’ll pull away from stops easier and you pull to a stop safer,” said Dennis Norton, the owner of Performance Unlimited, 5415 Austin Court, Ringwood. “It’s a good idea, this time of year, to make sure your tires are in shape for the winter ahead.”
With a bald or balding set of tires, a car will have a rough time on slippery roads. It’s also unwise to drive with tires that aren’t evenly worn. You don’t want to have traction on three corners and no traction on the fourth. A situation such as that is an invitation to a spinout when the snow flies.
How do you know if your tires have enough tread left? If you have 2/32nds of an inch or less tread, it’s time for new tires. If you don’t have a tread-depth gauge, you can actually use a penny (and they told you pennies were useless anymore). Looking at the Lincoln side of the penny, turn the 16th president on his head and insert the coin into the tire tread. If Lincoln’s hair doesn’t nestle down into the tread, you need new tires.
If you turn the coin around with the Lincoln Memorial facing you, but still upside down, if the roof is completely hidden, you still have 3/32nds of an inch of tread. You probably don’t want to let those tires go much longer.
It’s a good idea to keep your tires properly inflated. A tire that is almost flat will affect your steering and your traction. Likewise, a tire that is over inflated will cause troubles, too.
It’s a good idea to have your tires rotated and balanced on schedule (see your owner’s manual, as you would to check on proper inflation).
If you really want good traction in the winter, you can even purchase winter or snow tires. An auto repair shop, such as Performance Unlimited, can mount your winter tires when the season approaches and put your summer tires on the car when winter is over. All-season tires are another option, and are really the bare minimum when winter calls.
Maybe you won’t come to love the snow. But, if you have good tires on the car, you won’t dread the season as much either.
For information about mounting winter tires, balancing or rotating your tires, or to purchase a new set of tires for the winter, call Performance Unlimited at 815-728-0343 or visit: www.4performanceunlimited.com.