How to Care for Your Tires During Cold Weather

A car driving in the cold rain with tires being submerged in water covering the roadway.

As the colder weather arrives, it is important to protect your car; and that includes the tires.

Often times, people forget that tire performance can be affected by dropping temperatures. Here are two things you can do to help prepare for the chilly days ahead:

Monitor the air pressure in your tires

Did you know that, the air pressure in your tires can decrease by about a pound for every 10 degrees the temperature drops? As the weather gets colder, it is even more important that you check the pressure in your tires regularly. In many newer cars, the air pressure is monitored by a sensor inside each tire, and a warning light may appear on your dashboard if a tire is underinflated. You should also check the pressure yourself. The recommended tire pressure, in pounds per square inch (PSI), will be listed in your owner’s manual and on a sticker located on the inside of the driver’s door. You can take your car in to a licensed repair facility to check your tire pressure.

Check the condition of your tires and treads

The cold weather also brings slippery roads, as the trees begin to shed their leaves, snow starts to fall and ice forms. With these potential driving hazards on the way, you will want to be sure your tires and brakes are performing properly. You should inspect the tread to help ensure that your tires will provide you with good traction in wet and slippery conditions. When inspecting the tires yourself, also look for things like cracks or missing chunks of tire as these will indicate that your tires may not perform properly.

Also be sure to check your owner’s manual and have your tires rotated in accordance with the manufacturer’s suggested car maintenance schedule. If you are unsure when you last rotated your tires, your licensed repair facility can check your tires to be sure you are ready before you set off on any cold weather adventures.