Properly maintaining your winter tires can keep them in top shape for years to come, so here a few tips to help take care of them.
Whether you have winter tires already or are considering purchasing a set, knowing some basic maintenance techniques can really improve their longevity and performance.
1. Give your tires a close inspection
If you own winter tires already, it is a good idea to look them over before having them installed. Do you notice any bulges, worn spots or cracks? You should also check to make sure that the treads are not less than 1.5 millimetres deep. Any of these signs could mean trouble once you get out onto the road. If you have not had a chance to check your tires and you are already at a tire retailer or mechanic’s shop, they should be able to spot any problems, and if issues are present, they will most likely recommend that you buy a new set.
2. Keep your tires performing well all season long
Similar to your all-season tires, your winter tires should be checked and maintained while they are in use. Checking your tire pressure often will help you avoid lower gas mileage, uneven wear and tire blow-outs. Especially in cold conditions, your tire pressure can dip below normal. Be aware also that when there is snow and ice on the roads, damaging debris can remain hidden, so after driving in these conditions, you should check your tires for any nails, glass or other harmful objects.
3. Store your tires properly
Once temperatures start to warm and it’s time to take off your winter tires, you should know that proper storage will keep your tires in optimal condition for future winter seasons. Keep your tires out of direct sunlight and areas that reach high temperatures, as this can break down their rubber compounds. Also, do not store the tires on their treads, as this can cause flat spots. The best storage areas are typically dark and dry without fluctuating temperatures. Your can also purchase a set of tire covers for added protection.
When it’s time to purchase new winter tires
If your winter tires are no longer in great shape, it is always safer to purchase new tires. They may seem pricey at the time, but with the proper storage and maintenance techniques, they can last you for many years.
It is important that when you are purchasing new winter tires that you buy a complete set of four. If you only have two winter tires installed, this can cause uneven wear and problems with handling. This will force you to replace your tires much more quickly, and make for a more dangerous drive.
Talk to the experts
If you are interested in learning more about your winter tire options and how to keep them in good shape, visit a few local tire retailers, and they are sure to provide you with helpful advice.