Winter: Tread Carefully

This article provided as a public service from Sundberg's Automotive:


Tread Carefully This Winter

Author: Adam Singleton

Winter weather can be particularly treacherous especially as elements like ice, snow, sleet and rain are commonplace. Taking good care of your car is an easy way to make winter driving safer as well as prolonging your car’s driving life and keeping any unnecessary emergency repair costs to a minimum.

Take a few minutes every week or so to carry out a few checks that will help to keep your car in tip top driving condition, paying special attention to tires during winter time, as these are what keep you safely on the road.

The basic legal requirements for car tires in the United Kingdom state that tires must be compatible with others on the car and should be in good general condition. 

Tires should be correctly inflated to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended pressure. You should find your car's optimum tire pressure (psi) in the manufacturer’s handbook. You might also find the psi printed on a sticker, often on the inside of one of the car’s front doors. 

Regularly checking your car's tire pressure and keeping all four tires correctly inflated can go a long way in cutting fuel consumption, reducing wear and tear and making your car safer on the road especially when the weather takes a turn for the worst. 

It's best to check your tire pressure when your tires are cold as the reading will be far more accurate and you'll avoid the risk of over-inflation. For this reason it might be a good idea to invest in a manual tire pressure gauge and a foot pump and do it at home rather than driving your car to the nearest garage.

Tire tread depth is also vital and should always be above the legal minimum, which is 1.6mm in Britain. During winter time you might want to aim for a tire tread thickness of at least 3mm for optimum grip.

To be sure your measurements are correct you could invest in a tire tread depth gauge which can be picked up for a few pounds at your local garage or car accessory shop. While you’re measuring tire tread thickness have a look to see if there are any bulges, cracks, cuts, or foreign objects stuck in your tire and if there are take remedial action immediately. 

If you drive in especially hazardous weather conditions or are planning to drive to another country where the winter weather is harsher than that in Britain then you might want to consider special winter tires. 

If you aren’t sure how to identify between winter and ‘normal’ tires then look at the sidewall of the tire as specialist winter tires will be marked with a symbol showing a snowflake or snow-topped mountains. 

Taking extra precautions for winter driving and car storage could even reduce your premium when shopping for a car insurance quote so don’t forget to mention this to your insurer. 

This article has been written for information and interest purposes only. The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author only, and should not be construed as advice or used to make financial decisions. Expert financial advice should always be sought and any links contained within this article are included for information purposes only.
Adam Singleton writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

Peter Weesner