It’s Not Too Soon To Start Thinking About Winter And Your Tires!

Just because it’s August and sweltering outside doesn’t mean you should put off preparing your vehicle for the cold months ahead. Winter weather will be here before you know it, and if your tires aren’t in good condition they could compromise your vehicle’s handling and your own safety in less-than-optimal conditions.

Worn tires can cause a lot of problems ranging from poor handling to increased stopping distances, both of which increase the risk of an accident or collision. If you’re on the fence about getting your tires replaced before winter, there are more reasons to err on the side of caution than to take a dangerous risk.

Worn Tires Increase Stopping Distances

One of the biggest problems drivers face with worn tires is increased stopping distances, or the distance it takes to achieve a complete stop. Worn tires increase these distances, making it more likely your vehicle could fail to come to a complete stop in time if there is a sudden stop in front of you. This is especially true in wet, slippery weather like snow or rain.

In a recent test, the American Automobile Association found that worn tires can increase the average stopping distance of a passenger car by 87 feet and a light truck by 86 feet. That’s longer than a length of a semi-trailer truck.

John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of automotive engineering and repair, said that despite the amount of safety features modern vehicles have, tires are something that should not be ignored.

“Tires keep cars connected to the road,” Nielsen said. “Even the most advanced safety systems rely on a tire’s basic ability to maintain traction, and AAA’s testing shows that wear has a significant impact on how quickly a vehicle can come to a stop in wet conditions to avoid a crash.”

Worn Tires Can Cause Hydroplaning

Not only can worn tires increase the distance your vehicle requires to stop, but they can also affect your vehicle’s ability to channel out water on wet roads, which can lead to hydroplaning.

Hydroplaning is when a layer of water builds up between the road and a vehicle’s tires, causing the vehicle lose control. New tires with significant tread help channel the water out from under the tires, but worn ones are unable to do so effectively.

If you find yourself losing control on a wet surface, slow down your vehicle by easing off of the accelerator; avoid hard braking. If the back of the vehicle begins to slide, slowly steer your vehicle in the direction you need to go until you regain traction.

There’s no guarantee that this will work, however. The only thing you can do is make sure you have tires that are ready for slippery road conditions — ahead of time.

Worn Tires Can Reduce Traction In Snow

Drivers can also have trouble accelerating and maintaining traction on snow-covered roads if their tires are worn. Even if tires appear to be in working condition now, that doesn’t mean they will be up to the task of tackling snow- and ice-covered roads.

Consumer Reports stresses that adequate tread depth is necessary when traveling on roads that are covered with rain or snow.

"Adequate tread depth is essential for tires to grip rain- and snow-covered roads. In CR tire tests, we started to see a decline in the performance of tires with half their tread depth still left,” they said in a report detailing test findings. “Snow traction when accelerating fell by 14.5 percent and wet stopping distances increased by about 7 percent, among other findings…”

They said that the worn tires performed well in dry, normal weather conditions, but not in slippery conditions.

The Solution? The Sloan Ford Service Center

The only way to prepare for these conditions is to make sure you have the tires needed to handle them. Whether that means putting snow tires on your vehicle or just getting a fresh set of all-weather tires, tires with the proper tread are crucial to staying safe and in control on the road.

The Sloan Ford Service Center is your all-in-one location for tire service in Chester County. Sloan offers Ford’s low price tire guarantee along with inspections of your tires to ensure that your vehicle is ready for the winter roads ahead.

Categories: Service


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