The winter season in southern California is nothing to panic about usually when it comes to tire health; however, the low winter temperatures can affect your tires in ways you may not imagine, and rain can make for dangerous conditions to drive in when your tires are not in the best health. Other parts of California as you move northern are more susceptible to snow and more significant rainfall, and drivers who frequent these areas should pay special attention to tire maintenance before the winter months hit. If you aren’t sure how to approach tire care and winter preparation, it’s best to enlist the help of professionals. Here are some of the areas your automotive specialist will likely want to address to best prepare your car for the cooler months of the year.
Keeping your tires filled to the proper level of air at all times is critical to minimize the risk of blowouts and flats at high speeds; however, it becomes especially important to monitor your tire pressure during winter. As the air gets colder, your tires’ pressure drops significantly. Keeping a pressure gauge in your center console can be helpful; however, most modern vehicles have pressure sensors designed to alert the driver when a tire is running low. Checking your pressure before long drives and once per week is a good general rule of thumb, and you may increase the frequency as the temperature cools.
Your tires are meant to grip the road and remain stable, even under slick conditions. Rain and possible snow, depending on where you typically drive, can greatly impact your tires’ ability to stick to the road and allow water to flow freely through the grooves and tread without becoming slippery. To check your tire tread, you can use a penny to determine if you have a healthy tire tread for winter months—however, a full tire inspection is always recommended before entering harsh weather conditions.
In the process of checking your tire tread wear, you may notice that your front tires are becoming more worn than the rear tires, particularly if you have front wheel drive. Regular tire rotations are recommended year-round; however, when rain is on the horizon it’s best to have your tires rotated prior to winter months. This will allow the tires to wear evenly, allowing for more generalized stability and security on the road.
In preparation for cooler temperatures and slippery road conditions, tires should be thoroughly inspected for punctures or soft spots. Sometimes flat tires are inevitable; it can be impossible to dodge every nail and sharp object in the road—especially if visibility is compromised by rain or snow. Make sure to keep a spare tire that is in good condition in your vehicle at all times, and keep proper safety gear in your car such as reflective signs to warn other drivers of your presence on the roadside if need be.
Closely connected to tire health is wheel alignment. When your alignment is unbalanced it can cause your tires, no matter in what condition, to lose grip of the road and make steering difficult or impossible at higher speeds. To avoid an accident, your alignment should be checked before driving in slick road conditions. Proper wheel alignment will give you the most control over your steering and tire grip.
Our expert team here at Pro Car Mechanics serves clients in the areas of Gardena, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Glendale, and Anaheim, CA. While the winter season in southern California is generally mild, the potential for rain is always a question over the winter months. Having your car prepared and in optimal condition for safe driving during these months is crucial in preventing accidents. At Pro Car Mechanics, it is our mission to provide automotive care and safety for all drivers in the area. With prices up to 30% lower than nearby dealerships, we specialize in European brands like BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, Audi that would otherwise be costly to repair and maintain. To learn more about our pricing and the vehicles we service, contact us today to speak to a professional. We look forward to helping make your car safer during the winter months.