With a good portion of the nation suffering from frightfully frigid temperatures and downright dangerous driving conditions, let’s discuss tips for preparing your vehicle for winter driving.
From a mechanical standpoint, winter conditions present the greatest challenge to your vehicle’s operating efficiency.
Simply put, the amount of traction that exists between the tires and road surface determines how well the vehicle accelerates, turns and stops. When road conditions deteriorate with ice and snow, tires become even more important.
First, make certain your tires are properly inflated and in good condition, which includes an acceptable amount of tread depth. The tread helps evacuate water and slush from beneath the tire and provides biting edges for traction in the snow and ice. If the tread on your tires is too worn down, time to buy a new set. Your local tire dealer can assess their condition for you.
If you live in a region that experiences light to moderate snowfall, then a set of M+S rated, all-season tires in good condition is certainly a viable option.
The Duraturn Mozzo 4S+ is an example of a good quality all-season tire. Backed by a 50,000 mile limited tread wear warranty, it features four circumferential grooves for rapid water evacuation and an aggressive tread pattern with plenty of biting edges for traction.
If you live in the snow belt and regularly experience heavy snow and ice situations, you need to drive on purpose-built winter tires during the winter months. Yes it takes a little work to switch your tires out, but your dealer can help with that. And It is definitely worth the peace of mind.
Winter tires are that much better in snow and ice than all-season tires. The tread compound of the studless Duraturn Mozzo Winter tire for instance is designed to remain pliable in the most extreme temperatures – very important for grip. A deep tread helps to move slush and snow away from the tire and tiny sipes throughout the tread provide aggressive biting edges.
The Mozzo Winter Ice tire is studdable and designed to handle even more serious winter conditions, especially ice. The studs really dig into the ice, and a V-shaped tread design with a multi-siped center rib improves handling and grip.
Other Components to Focus On
Here are the other vehicle components that AAA recommends checking for winter driving:
Brake system – Have your brakes checked by your tire dealer or local mechanic.
Battery – The heart of your vehicle’s electrical system is the battery. Cold weather requires a fully charged battery; so have your battery checked, as well as the alternator or generator, voltage regulator and drive belts.
Lights – Working lights are even more critical in wintry conditions. Make sure all your lights are working and lenses cleaned; grime on a headlight can reduce its effectiveness by as much as 90 percent.
Ignition system – Damaged ignition wires, a cracked distributor cap or worn spark plubs can make starting difficult or may cause a sudden vehicle breakdown.
Exhaust system – Have your mechanic check the exhaust system for leaks in order to minimize the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Heating and cooling system – Make sure the cooling system contains enough antifreeze to prevent freezing in cold weather. Have the entire system checked for leaks.
Windshield wipers – Wiper blades that streak should be replaced. The washer reservoir bottle should be filled with an antifreeze washer solvent. Be sure your wipers are free of ice and snow and turned offer before starting the engine.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When dealing with driving in wintry conditions, it’s worth even more!
Please click on the banner below if you would like to learn more about our winter tire offerings.