If you live in a state that rarely gets snow in the winter, congratulations. The rest of us need to endure freezing temperatures and all of the snow Mother Nature throws at us. The brave souls who drive at this time of year need to make the necessary preparations for the cold, especially these 8 fixes your car needs to handle winter weather.
Switching out your all-season tires for winter tires is arguably the most important way to prepare your car for winter. Tires are, after all, the most important safety feature in your car. They’re what allow cars to drive on snowy roads with minimal slipping and sliding. “We just never think about what a tire’s job is,” says Chris Welty, a consumer education specialist for Bridgestone Tires. “Our car just does what we think it’s supposed to do, but most of that is translated by the tire.”
When exactly should you make the switch to winter tires? The first day you can see your breath outside, Welty advises.
That may seem pretty early on in the season, probably before your town has seen a dusting of snow. But winter tires are more than just snow tires. They work more effectively in cold temperatures than all-season tires. In extremely cold temperatures, the rubber in all-season tires stiffens and can’t provide sufficient traction.
“The rubber itself (in a winter tire) is different,” Welty says. “It still remains flexible as the temperatures go below zero. It has elements to work better on wet pavement and snow and ice.”
Leaving all-season tires on through the winter season may seem like an easier, cheaper solution for you. Yet the truth is that if you live in an area where extreme winter conditions are the norm, doing so is both bad for your car and raises your risk of getting in an accident, potentially injuring yourself and others.
Trust us, buying winter tires is worth the investment. On the other hand, these are 7 ways you’re definitely wasting money on your car.