1. Have the right tires for the season. Winter
season tires are engineered to provide safe handling and control on all
winter road conditions including: wet, ice, slush, freezing rain, snow,
black ice and on dry roads. All-season tire treads are engineered to
provide extended mileage and durability under the hot summer sun. They
are less effective at maintaining traction in winter weather and lose
flexibility in temperatures below 45 degrees F, which affects handling,
control and braking distance. Winter season tires can deliver
approximately 25-50 percent more traction than all-season tires under
severe winter weather conditions, a vital difference that allows a
vehicle to stay on the road, stop safely and avoid fatal accidents.
2. Check tire pressure prior to your trip. The Rubber Manufacturers Association reports that under-inflation is a tire's number one enemy. Low tire pressure decreases fuel economy approximately two-to-three miles per gallon. Check air pressure before long trips to ensure safety, improve fuel economy and to save money on road travel.
3. Rotate tires before you go. Rotating tires regularly is an essential part of maintaining tire performance. Regular tire rotation achieves uniform wear for all tires on the vehicle. Tires should be rotated every 6,000 miles for optimal wear. It's important to note that actual tread wear performance can vary tremendously according to the tire's real-world use (variations in driving habits, service practices like air pressure maintenance, road conditions and climate affect tire life).
4. Check wheel alignment before you go. Alignment is a key maintenance factor in getting the most wear and performance from vehicle tires. Wheel alignment provides safe and predictable vehicle control as well as a smooth and comfortable ride that is free of pulling or vibration.
5. Check Air Pressure During the Trip. Air pressure in a tire tends to increase in warm weather and decrease in cold weather. Tire pressure changes one pound for every 10 degrees of temperature change. For accurate pressure, check pressure when tires are cool. The recommended inflation pressure number is noted by the vehicle manufacturer and can be found inside the glove box or fuel door, on the vehicle placard located on the driver's doorpost or in the owner's manual.