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5 Steps to Prepping Your Tires for Winter Weather

As the days get colder, you will perhaps first begin noticing its effects on your tires. So how can you get your tires ready before the freezing temperatures arrive? The local mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here with insight. 

Step 1: Tire Pressure Refill

On the first cool morning of the winter, most drivers will find the low tire pressure light illuminated on their dashboards. Why? When the weather gets cold, the air inside your tires will compress. 

If you have ever ridden a bike with low tire pressure, you will understand why this condition can stress and strain your vehicle. Low tire pressure can:

  • Create low fuel efficiency
  • Accelerate tire tread wear
  • Leave wheels and rims vulnerable
  • Debilitate your engine

Thankfully, adding air to your tires is simple, and you can score free tire pressure refills at your local mechanic shop

Step 2: Tire Rotation

Most cars have a front-wheel drive steering system—meaning that the front tires twist and turn on the road to control your vehicle’s direction. So naturally, this will cause your front tires to face more wear than your back tires. 

As front tire tread wears out quickly, the uneven wear can leave your car vulnerable on the road—especially during inclement weather. However, you can prepare your vehicle for the season with a routine tire rotation. As the name suggests, this service involves rotating your tires to ensure the tread wears evenly. In some cases, uneven wear will be a sign that you need an alignment service. Getting this car care before the peak of winter can help keep you and your vehicle protected.

Step 3: Tire Inspection and Necessary Patching Services

Take a moment to look closely at each of your tires. Is the tread wearing evenly? Do you see any nails, screws, or obstructions in your rubber? 

You should visually inspect your tires every month to ensure they are in good working order. If you catch an issue early, you can help prevent more serious (and expensive) damage. Take a moment to have any nails removed and patched by a professional mechanic. Here is our guide to what your tire tread should look like during a visual inspection

Step 4: Tire Replacement

If your tires are low on tread, they will inhibit your ability to brake and handle your vehicle. These safety challenges are especially dangerous in the rain and snow. If your visual inspection reveals low tire tread, you will need tire replacement. Thankfully, buying tires is easier than ever with the latest conveniences. You can click here to read about how our local mechanics are transforming the tire buying experience

Step 5: Winter Tires

In climates with extreme weather, you might consider winter tires as a final recourse in preparing your wheels for the season. Winter tire treads are designed to cut through snow and slush to help you stay in control. Additionally, the rubber compounds of these tires resist the hardening effects of cold weather. By staying soft and flexible in freezing conditions, winter tires help your vehicle maintain traction on the road. 

Most likely, divers who live in more moderate climates (like Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Apex) will not need winter tires. However, here is a look at some situations where drivers in the south might consider them: 

  • If you plan to travel to areas where wintery weather is more extreme and common, winter tires can help you stay safe on your drive. 
  • In North Carolina, most roadways and businesses shut down when the weather gets bad. However, if you work in a profession where you are required to travel even when the snow starts to fall, winter tires can help keep you safe. 
  • Wintery weather can strike unexpectedly and at the worst times. Some drivers choose to get winter tires as an extra safety precaution for the season. 

For drivers who choose to invest in winter tires, it is important to note that these tires should only be used in the colder months. The soft rubber of these tires will wear out quickly in the heat. Your local mechanic can help you change out your tires for the warmer weather, while you save your winter tires for next year’s coldest months. 

Tires for Every Season at Chapel Hill Tire

When you are ready to get your tires ready for the winter season, visit one of Chapel Hill Tire’s 9 locations across Apex, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham. We offer all of the tire services you might need for the cold weather—including tire patching, repair, rotation, alignment, balancing, and winter tire installation. Our professional mechanics also commonly serve nearby communities, including Knightdale, Cary, Pittsboro, Wake Forest, Hillsborough, Morrisville, and beyond. We invite you to make an appointment, browse our coupons, or give us a call to get started today! 

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