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Living Well: Winter Weather Preparation

Firestone Complete Auto Shop shares tip on how to prepare your car for winter.
Firestone Complete Auto Shop shares tip on how to prepare your car for winter.

Gearing up for the upcoming Thanksgiving and holiday travel, more drivers are overlooking an important aspect that is critical to keeping them and their families safe while on the road– their tires.

According to a survey by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which represents this country’s tire manufacturers – 13% of vehicles surveyed nationally had at least one bald tire, up from the previous stat of 10.4%. This means as many as 33 million vehicles on the road are at risk. Bald tires cannot properly grip the road and can lead to slipping, sliding and even accidents –especially in wet weather conditions.

Further, an earlier RMA survey showed that 64% of car owners did not know how to check tread depth, 9% never check their tread
depth.

Making sure that your tires are safe for the road is easy and economical – all you need is a penny.

The “Penny test”:  I
Abe's head upside down into the tread in a couple of spots on each tire. If you can see the entire top of his head, your tread is less that one-sixteenth of an inch deep - below the level where you can count on it in slippery conditions. It should be replaced.

Without sufficient tread depth, your vehicle can’t properly grip the road.  Under wet weather conditions, insufficient tread depth can cause a vehicle to hydroplane and potentially lead to a crash.

As always, as part of their educational initiative, the RMA urges drivers to “Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART” this, and every holiday season. (www.betiresmart.org):  

·         Pressure: Check
air pressure, under-inflation is the leading cause of wear and tear of tires

·         Alignment: Misalignment of wheels in the front
or rear can cause uneven and rapid tread-wear

·         Rotation:
Regularly rotating your vehicle's tires will help you achieve more uniform wear

·         Tread:
Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to grip the road in
adverse conditions

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