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NAPS -- Rough roads aren't the only thing to worry about when the temperature drops. Tires also get cold and need extra grip to perform at their best. That's something your all-season tires might not be ready for. In fact, in temperatures of 45° F or below, the rubber in all-season tires gradually hardens, leading to decreased road traction and less grip. That can cause difficulty with braking and turning. Winter tire safety experts urge drivers to consider the weather; if you often drive when it's below 45° F--snow or no snow--it's time for a set of winter tires to keep you and your family safe on the roads this year.
"Winter tires are not just for drivers in cities that get snow and ice," explained Mark Marrufo of Discount Tire. "Customer safety is our number one priority at Discount Tire, so we urge drivers to swap out their all-season tires to help ensure they don't suffer from any performance issues when driving regularly in temperatures below 45°."
Winter tires use specially engineered tread rubber with enhanced compound to add the extra grip needed in winter driving conditions that helps keep a car safely in motion without skidding off the road. This added grip provides 25 to 50 percent more traction in snow and ice than regular all-season tires. Tread design in winter tires also uses thousands of extra traction edges for exceptional grip in cold weather driving conditions where ice, snow, slush and water may be present. What many drivers may not realize is that precipitation can actually pack in the larger grooves of all-season tires, leading to dangerous skidding and impaired braking.
Consider these five tire and road safety tips:
1) Replace your all-season tires with superior cold traction winter tires if you regularly drive in temperatures of 45° or below. Make sure to replace all four tires to avoid an unsafe traction mismatch.
2) Don't forget the wheels when switching to winter tires. Having a set of wheels specifically for your set of winter tires will save money in the long run. They pay for themselves by eliminating the cost of changeovers at the beginning and end of the winter season and by saving your expensive wheels from the wear and tear of ice, slush, snow and salt.
3) Check tire pressure regularly and don't forget to check the spare. Underinflated or over-inflated tires may result in poor handling, uneven tread wear and poor fuel consumption. For every 10° change in temperature, tire air pressure changes 1 psi.
4) Rotate your tires at least every 6,000 miles or earlier if irregular or uneven wear develops.
5) Make sure your tire shop properly torques the lug nuts to the specifications for your vehicle when changing over to winter tires.
Drivers who are unsure whether winter tires are necessary for their vehicle can stop by any Discount Tire location for a free safety inspection. To locate a store nearby, schedule tire service appointments or search tires and wheels by size, brand and style--or by vehicle year, make and model--visit www.discounttire.com.