Tires are an integral part of winter maintenance

January 2, 2014 12:00 AM

The first day of winter may have already passed, but it's not too late to get started on winter maintenance that will create a safer driving environment in the near future. With much of the worst part of the season still ahead of us - including lower temperatures, plenty of snowfall and icy surfaces - investing in the right vehicle maintenance is extremely important. Not only can it keep all drivers safer, but it can also provide some peace of mind and confidence that motorists need as they get behind the wheel. 

Start maintenance early
A large part of proper winter care for cars centers around the tires. The right tires can go a long way toward improving the safety and security of a vehicle, and getting the rproper equipment installed on an automobile is essential. Snow or winter tires can be extremely effective, as they offer deeper treads that are more adept at gripping slippery surfaces. They can also improve the fuel economy of a vehicle throughout the winter, saving a driver money in the long run. 

Even though winter has already started, it's not too late to invest in the right tires. Safety is important at any time of year, and investing in winter tires and similar maintenance checks can have a positive effect on driving for the rest of the year. 

"No one wants to get into a hazardous winter driving situation with snow, ice, slush and cold - and they wish they had better prepared for those types of conditions," said Brandy Gadd, the brand manager for Goodyear Tire. "... Along with antifreeze, battery check-ups and new wiper blades, an inspection of the tire tread should be a year-round practice, but especially as we prepare for potential slippery road conditions." 

Driving and tire tips
Tires are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to winter driving safety. Most motorists know that they need to slow down and be a bit more cautious in inclement weather, but there are other steps to take as well. For example, all drivers should have their headlights and taillights examined, in addition to hazard lights, blinkers and high beams. Visibility and communication with other drivers becomes incredibly important in the midst of winter elements, so these areas need to be addressed. 

Similarly, brake service should be prioritized. Anything from gentle curves to sudden stops become more hazardous when snow and ice are thrown into the mix, and having secure brakes can go a long way toward ensuring that all drivers are safe in their vehicles. 

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