Winter is coming!
In the north of British Columbia, winters are long and cold with lots of snow. It’s not the easiest of the seasons to weather and with the intense cold it eventually takes a toll on your vehicle and its tires. While changing your tires may seem like the obvious outcome when it comes to the winter season, we’ll highlight why it’s recommended and how it may save your life while you’re on the road this winter.
Cold temperatures cause tire pressure to drop every 1 pound per square inch for every 10 ° F drop in air temperature. This means that essentially, the air outside your tires becomes less dense with lower temperatures and cause your tires to lose pressure faster. This is why tires usually go flat in cold weather. For drivers, it becomes necessary to check the tire inflation pressure more frequently. While keeping check may seem like the easier option to do than to invest in winter tires – you have to keep into account that you may not always have the time to check the pressure and that frequently checking the pressure in cold weather may result in the Schrader valve of the tire to get damaged. Which means that you’ll be stuck with a flat tire and no way to pump air into it.
Winter tires easily outperform summer tires on a snowy road. With their low rolling resistance, they have a longer rolling brake distance on snow and ice. They’re made with specific rubber compounds that are formulated to stay flexible in cold weather – allowing for maximum grip. Compared to summer tires, winter tires generally have a better grip for wet and unstable conditions on the road. Drivers driving cars fitted with “snow” or winter tires find it much easier to drive up and down hills in bad conditions and find that their vehicles feel more stable whether they’re driving at 20 mph or even 50 mph.
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T USE WINTER TIRES YEAR-ROUND
Winter tires are designed for cold temperatures and precipitation. Once Spring starts, you won’t need those deep treads to handle traction for snow or ice. The treads on the winter tires will wear out faster on warm and dry pavement. Summer and all-season tires are built to withstand warm temperatures which means that they provide a longer wear life.
There’s also the issue with decreased performance. In warmer weather, winter tires won’t provide the same handling capabilities as summer or all-season tires. If you need to make a quick maneuver and your tires are soft, then you won’t get a crisp response from a winter tire in warm weather. Winter tires need that flexibility to handle snow, however, they’re not as useful in warmer weather.
With the winter season just around the corner, it’s time to give it some thought and make an informed decision on purchasing winter tires. You have to keep in mind that your car’s tires are the only things that come in contact with the ground. This means they’re in full charge of your driving system, braking, maximum speed, and soaking up any road bumps.
General Tips & Tricks for Winter
With the winter season, you can’t make predictions on how your car will behave while it’s on the road. Snow, sleet, ice and below freezing temperatures all have an effect on driving conditions. While it’s commonsense to prepare your vehicle for the winter season, the following tips will help you and your car weather the winter season this year.
Make sure that your car battery is fully charged and in optimal working condition – Cold weather adversely affects your car battery life.
Keep your gas tank full – it’ll help to prevent the gas-line from freezing and also help you to keep your car running in case you run into traffic delays and unexpected route changes.
Make sure your wiper fluids contain anti-freeze – this is to ensure that the spray doesn’t freeze up when you’re trying to clear the car windscreen.
Plan your route – check your local weather and traffic reports before heading out.
Make sure your tires are inflated properly – winters can cause tires to lose air pressure. Keep a portable tire air inflator in handy in case your tires are running low on pressure.
Keep an emergency kit – having an emergency kit on hand in case of emergencies will undoubtedly be a blessing. When your tires are stuck in the snow, having some salt and a snow shovel will come in handy. Keeping a blanket will help in staying warm and bottles of water will keep you hydrated. Also, keep some candies or chocolates with you while on the road to help boost your energy levels and to elevate your mood.
Make sure that the exhaust pipe is clear – a blocked pipe will lead to carbon monoxide poisoning inside the car when it starts to leak while the engine is running. Always make sure that you clean the exhaust pipes after a drive and not to keep running the car in an enclosed space (example garage) after a trip from outside.
Keep your headlights on – it’s a see and be seen situation in the winter season. Keeping your lights on will help you to see the road and also allow you to see other drivers while maintaining a safe distance. You may even keep your car hazards switched on or simply keep the headlights running to alert others that there’s a car on the road.
While these winter tips and tricks will help you out there when you’re on your own, know that Skaha Ford has your back. Our Winter Performance Package77 will prepare your vehicle ready for wet snow, ice, and winter weather this season.
What you’ll get is as follows:
Four winter tires approved by Ford
Four Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors through Motorcraft®
Four steel or aluminum rims approved by Ford
For more details, tips and tricks on how to winterize your vehicle and stay safe this winter, contact us at Skaha Ford. We provide the best winter tires along with a perfect fit for any budget.