How To Prepare Your Tires for an Intense Winter

Gear up for an intense winter by keeping your tires properly maintained. From checking air pressure to picking up the right set of chains, find out how to winterize your car and stay safe on icy roads.

Why Do You Need Tire Chains?

Depending on your area, tire chains can be a must-have winter accessory or an emergency item to keep just for the occasional road trip. Tire chains come in all different sizes and designs, but they’re basically designed to add traction to your wheels in extreme winter conditions.

Tire chains can also damage the road in the wrong situation, so don’t plan on installing chains for every winter drive. Check with your local laws and regulations to see if chains are allowed in your area.

Some areas also have tire chain requirements in certain situations. The most common times when tire chains are required is if you plan on driving during extreme weather conditions. Mountain passes and highways that may have significant snow and wind are a few examples of areas where there may be checkpoints verifying you have tire chains and are prepared for the drive.

Best Snow Tire Chains for Your Car

The best chains are the ones that are tailor-made for your vehicle and driving situation. An emergency set of chains should be portable and easy to install and uninstall. For serious weather conditions and areas where you plan on installing your tire chains for the entire season, it pays to invest in durable, rugged options. Here are some other features to look for as you shop for highly rated snow tire chains:

  • Correct tire size
  • Appropriate clearance
  • Designed for your tire treads
  • Competitively priced

Tire chains are designed to increase traction, but you should still practice other safe driving habits. Plan for an emergency by reviewing how to get your car out of a snow bank in case you do lose control.

Tips for Winterizing Your Car

Winter driving can be hard on your tires. Consider these tips to improve the lifespan of your winter tires:

  • Maintain tire pressure: As the temperature drops, so does the pressure of your tires. Ten degrees of temperature change can result in a loss of one psi of tire air pressure.
  • Switch to winter tires: These specialized tires offer improved traction in snow and ice. The rubber is also less affected by cold temperatures, increasing the lifespan of your tires.
  • Inspect other automotive components: Coolant and batteries can be negatively affected by cold temperatures. Other routine maintenance components wear out at the same rate throughout the year, but worn brakes in winter can be more of a liability than worn ones in the summer.
  • Pack an emergency kit: Warm clothing, a first-aid kit, jumper cables, a flashlight, a snow shovel and some car tools can go a long way in keeping you safe in the winter.

Gear Up for an Intense Winter

From the latest snow tires to emergency snow chains, shop online to find the best gear to prepare for winter. From the blizzard of the century to cool temperatures, protect your car and drive safely this winter.

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