When winter is near, it is best to make sure your tires and brakes are ready for snowy, icy, slushy, and wet roads. There are a few types of tires you can choose from that are best for winter weather. Your vehicle’s braking system also works along with your tires to keep you safe on the road. When you find yourself needing to stop abruptly, make sure you know what kind of tires and braking system your car has so you can accommodate how you’re driving with the weather outside.
Make Sure Your Tires are Ready for Snow
There are two types of tires that are best for the winter season, which are either all-season tires or winter tires. If you’re deciding to get your tires replaced, take a look at the tread on your current ones. The deeper the tread the better and if you see any damage such as cracks or punctures, you will need new tires. As a tip, look up the Quarter Test online to learn how to measure your tire’s tread depth. Colorado law now states your tread must have 1/8 of an inch deep tread. With all tires, as the temperature drops outside, they tend to deflate slowly. Make sure you check the tire pressure frequently and know the best pressure according to your vehicle’s recommendations.
If you decide to go with snow tires, they are made out of a special rubber that makes them flexible in lower temperatures. These particular tires have a deeper tread, helping them to grip the road better. They are comparable to all-season tires, which you can use year-round. However, these tires tend to stiffen easier in cold weather, but they are still good to use depending on what you are looking for. No matter which tires you choose, make sure to get them before winter from a reputable mechanic shop with a good warranty.
Do I Need New Brakes?
Having brakes that are working properly, especially during the winter, is imperative so you can stop faster on slippery roads. If you begin to notice problems with your brakes such as squealing noises, grinding, your steering wheel shaking when braking, or needing to push the brake pedal all the way to the floor, then it’s time to bring your car in for a brake repair. In some cases, you can inspect the brake pad thickness and how to the surface of the rotors looks on your own as well.
For your vehicle’s brake system, over time the pads and rotors wear out and need to be replaced. This timeline can increase during harsher driving conditions such as bad weather. You can help extend the life of your brakes by driving slower at a 3 second distance so it is not necessary to brake as hard, coast while driving when possible and keep your brake fluid flushed every year or so by a mechanic specialized in brake repair services.
How to Drive in the Winter
We all know that in the winter months, especially when there is snow and ice on the ground, it is smart to drive slower. If you have, snow tires or all-season tires it will make driving much easier. The tread on these tires will help with slowing down and gripping the road as well as assist your braking system. Make sure to always keep a tire pressure gauge, tire jack, a spare tire, flares, and gravel or salt in your car just in case you are caught stranded in bad weather.
Braking systems can be tricky depending on the car and the condition of the roads. There are a few things to be aware of in order to make sure you are bringing your car to a complete stop on time. Keep in mind if you are driving fast, you will need more room to stop, so try not to follow too closely. Never pump your brakes, depending on the system in your particular vehicle, you will need to brake steadily or all at one time. This is going to depend if you have an anti-lock brake system or not. In order to avoid an accident when driving, be sure you have the best tires and brakes installed on your vehicle.
If you need a skilled Auto Brake Service mechanic to inspect your brakes and check your tires, Schedule an Appointment now that winter is here! Call any of our AAMCO Denver or AAMCO Colorado Springs locations for a FREE diagnostic test now.