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Check Tyre Pressures

This section provides an understanding of the many factors essential to proper tyre care and service of vehicles.

How Cold Temperature Affects Tyres

Many parts of the U.S. have cold-weather driving conditions at least part of the year. Here are some things you should know about cold-weather driving.

How Cold Temperature Affects Tyres

Every time the outside temperature drops 10 degrees Fahrenheit, the air pressure inside your tyres goes down about one or two pounds per square inch.

You should check your tyre pressures frequently during cold weather and add the necessary air to keep them at recommended levels of inflation at all times.

Never reduce tyre pressures in an attempt to increase traction on snow or ice. It does not work and your tyres will be so seriously underinflated that driving will damage them.

If one of the drive wheels becomes stuck, the centrifugal forces created by a rapidly spinning tyre can cause an explosion by literally tearing the tyre apart. Never exceed the 35 mph indicated speedometer speed. Do not stand near the spinning tyre .

If your vehicle is stuck and a tow truck is not readily available, gently rock your vehicle back and forth, repeatedly shifting the gear lever from drive to reverse on automatic transmissions, or reverse to second on manual transmissions, while applying gentle pressure to the accelerator. Caution: If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS) in your car, follow the operational instructions in your owner's manual.

Winter Tyres

In snowy areas, many cities and counties have "snow emergency" regulations which are invoked during heavy snowfalls. Check with authorities for the rules in your area. Under some rules, motorists are subject to fines if they block traffic and do not have snow tyres on their vehicles.

You can avoid this by equipping your vehicle with snow tyres marked with "MS," "M&S," or "M + S" on the sidewall.

If you change to snow tyres , be sure they are the same size and construction type as the other tyres on the vehicle.

Snow tyres should be used in pairs (or as duals) on the drive axle (whether front or rear) or on all four wheel positions. Never put non-radial snow tyres on the rear if radials are on the front, except when the vehicle has duals on the rear. On front-wheel-drive or performance vehicles, it may be advisable to install snow or all season tyres on all wheel positions to maintain consistent handling in snowy conditions.

In areas where heavy snowfalls are frequent, many drivers carry chains for use in emergencies, or have their tyre dealer apply studded snow tyres or install tyres for use in severe snow conditions.

Most states have time limits on the use of studs. Before installing studded tyres , check the regulations in your area. If studded tyres are applied to the front axle, they also must be applied to the rear axle.

If you use chains, make sure they are the proper size and type for your tyres , otherwise they may damage the tyre sidewall and cause tyre failure.

Tires designed for use in severe snow conditions generally have tread patterns, structure and materials to give superior performance. These tyres are marked with the "M+S" designation plus a mountain/snowflake symbol.

Prolong Tyre Life with Good Driving Habits

Tyre-Related Factors in the Pre-Crash Phase

Check Tyre Pressures

Vehicle Conditions Affecting Tyres

Information displayed on the tyre sidewall

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