It’s time to start thinking about winter. In September? That’s right. Remember Halloween 2019, when we got a snowstorm? Many vehicles were not ready for winter-like conditions, and that includes their brakes, steering, suspension, tires and wiper blades. The No. 1 safety item for any safe winter driving is your tires.
Today’s vehicles require tires that match the use of the vehicle. That doesn’t mean an ultra-high-performance tire on grandma’s car when she just goes to the market, or a set of all-terrain tires on Mom’s soccer van. No, the idea is to place the correct, all-season, SUV/CUV, light truck, seasonal or snow tires on the proper vehicle. Many vehicle manufacturers now require matching tires for all four wheels.
Federal safety guidelines consider a tire unsafe with a tread measurement at 2/32 inch. In most states, you can get a ticket for driving unsafe tires below that measurement. Most tire manufacturers will recommend your tires be replaced at 4/32 inch because that seems to be the least amount of tread needed for good traction in inclement weather. Most of your professional automotive tire centers will agree with this, unless maybe you live in the Mojave Desert.
A good tread is a must for your vehicle. The deeper the tread, the more your tire can displace or move snow and water away from your tire while driving. This is what keeps you safe. A bald or low-tread tire can’t effectively move the water or snow, so you slip and slide much easier.
That’s no fun when you need to keep yourself and your family safe.
While tires are the No. 1 priority for safe winter driving, those brakes are next, followed by the steering and suspension system.
Jax Auto & Tire offers a complimentary inspection for winter driving needs and carries most brands of tires at a competitive price.
Jax Auto & Tire is located at 5220 S. Ill. Rt. 31, Crystal Lake, (815) 526-3552. ❚