Tulsa may not suffer the extreme temperature changes that other cities do, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have winter! In colder climates, drivers need to think about how to prepare their cars for winter: antifreeze, engine heaters, ice scrapers, snow tires…the list goes on. Here in Tulsa, we only really have one major concern: tire pressure and condition.
Checking Your Tires for Winter
As the temperatures drop in the winter months, the air in your tires gains density. That increased density means lower air pressure in your tires, leaving them under inflated. What does that mean? Underinflated tires can cause improper tire wear, reducing the lifespan of your tires. They can also reduce your fuel economy, as a tire with low pressure has increased resistance. Most importantly, an underinflated tire offers less traction on the road, especially if the road is wet. This loss of traction can increase your chances of hydroplaning or otherwise losing control of your vehicle!
When you’re checking your tire pressure, stop and take a look at the condition of your tires as well. Balding or worn tires can also increase your odds of hydroplaning or losing control on a wet road. As the tires press into the road, they force the water into the tread pattern and increase your traction. If your tread is too worn for the water to fit into the grooves, your tires end up moving on top of the water and put you at risk of an accident. Worn tires also have a higher risk of blowing out, and no one wants to deal with a flat after a long day at work. If you’re not sure if your tires are in need of replacing or not, check your owners manual for the tread depth requirements or stop by RC Auto Specialists today for your auto inspection.