Friday, March 13, 2015

Winter Tires Are Just No Good For Summer Driving

Imagine this. You're about to start a new running routine in an attempt to get in shape for summer. You go out to the store and buy a brand new pair of running shoes that fit your feet perfectly. You're ready to go. Fast forward six months. The temperature begins to drop as the fall season approaches, but you don't have enough money to afford new dress shoes for work AND snow boots for the fast approaching ski season. In an attempt to keep what money you do have, you decide to wear your running shoes to work, and on the mountain side. I don't think I need to explain the implications here, but to sum it up, you're going to have a tough time getting around.

Tires are nothing more than shoes for the vehicle, but wearing the right shoe in the wrong conditions will do you no favors. In fact, there's a great chance that you will wear your shoes down so quickly that you will have to spend even more money on new running shoes (and you still won't have dress shoes for work or snow boots for winter).

Now let me say that I know that tires are far more expensive than shoes, and because of this it can be easy to justify leaving your winter tires on your vehicle all year long. While I can appreciate simple solutions to big problems, you're not solving anything by driving on your winter tires during the summer season. You will actually spend more money in the long run and your vehicle's performance will eventually begin to suffer. How will it suffer you ask? Read on and I'll explain.

All winter tires are designed to maintain optimal traction in extreme winter conditions. The rubber is softer thus making it more flexible and adaptable to frozen and snow-covered roads. A specialized tread design and deeper tread depth help winter tires to stay firmly planted to the road, giving you more control and helping to keep you safe.

When winter fades to spring and the snow begins to melt, you won't need the deep tread depth and biting edges of the winter tire. You simply don't require that kind of traction in warm weather. The softer and more flexible winter tire rubber which allows for enhanced traction during the winter season will end up costing you during the summer months in the form of  expedited tread wear. This is where your wallet begins to cry. Summer and all-season tires can not compare to the traction of winter tires in winter and winter tires can't touch the performance of summer or all-season tires during the warmer months.

You've effectively dug yourself into a hole where you have nothing but worn out winter tires. This situation could have been easily avoided by driving on winter tires in the winter and summer (or even all-season) tires during the snow-free months. There's a reason why tire manufacturers offer different types of tires, and this is it.

If you think it's finally time to purchase the right tires for the right driving seasons then Town Fair Tire is the next place you're going. With the largest selection of tires at the lowest prices around, there's no better place to shop for tires.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Preparing Your Vehicle For Winter Is "Snow Problem At All"

Winter is a beautiful season but it has a knack for slowing everything down, especially on the roads. Covered in snow and ice, the wintry roads do a number on your car, but perhaps the worst thing about winter is getting stuck behind snow plows, buses, and overly cautious drivers as they add untold amounts of time to your travels. While it isn't responsible to speed, swerve, or rage your way through traffic, it is important to examine the real reason why you're running late. You underestimated Mother Nature.  

Let me spell it out for you. The scenario may vary from person-to-person but in the end the lesson will always be the same.

The alarm sounds. It's Monday morning already, and while you want nothing more than to stay safely tucked beneath your warm blanket, you know that you have very little time to spare. That presentation that you've been dreading at work is finally here, and anything short of an alien abduction couldn't get you out of going into the office today. 

After a quick series of rinses and gargles, a piece of toast, and a pot of coffee, you're ready to head out the door without a moment to spare. Greeted by a snow covered ground and a chilling 20 mph wind, you trudge over to your frozen car only to find it covered (and I mean COVERED) in snow.

You know you don't have much time but you can't do anything but stand there and hope that what you're seeing is an illusion. The seemingly harmless snowfall combined with fierce winds overnight, to form the mother of all snow drifts right on top of your car. At this point you've spilled just enough coffee on your good pants to make it look like you can't afford laundry detergent, and you've got so many bags of work papers that your neighbor cheerfully waves to you like you're heading off for a week long vacation in the Bahamas...if only (sigh). 

After lugging everything back in the house, searching for the shovel, searching for the shovel some more, finding the shovel, and finally clearing off your car, you've lost 25 minutes and you're almost certainly going to be late for your presentation.  

Things couldn't possibly get any worse, there's just no way that...CHHK...CHHK...CHHHHKK!
And the car won't start. Suddenly everything else that has happened up to this point seems utterly meaningless. Do you call your boss and tell him that you're going to be late because your car won't start? It sounds like such a lame excuse. Do you try to catch a ride in with a friend? Do you walk? Do you stay home? This is ridiculous. As the internal debate rages on inside of you, you can't help but think that this misfortune could have been prevented. 

5 Winter Car Care Tips For A More Efficient Winter Driving Experience

I hate to say it, but with a little preparation on your part this whole ordeal could have been prevented. Assuming that your vehicle isn't suffering from any serious mechanical issues, here are a few measures that you should consider taking the next time that snow is in the forecast.

  • If the handle on your car door is frozen solid try heating up your key with a match or lighter and slowly pushing it into the lock. The heat and pressure should melt the ice.
  • If your windshield is covered in ice/frost your best bet is to turn on your vehicle and set your defrosters on high. After the vehicle has had a few minutes to warm up, you can expedite the melting process by scraping the ice off the windshield. (If you want to take more preventative measures against ice forming on your windshield you can cover it with a rubber bath mat to shield it from the elements.) 
  • If your wiper blades are frozen use a cloth and rubbing alcohol to wipe down each blade. This will both melt the ice and prevent the blades from sticking to the windshield or freezing again. 
  • If your side mirrors are icy the best thing to do is scrape them off. (A more preventative measure would be to cover each side mirror with a plastic bag secured with a rubber band. Regardless of how cold it gets at night, there won't be any snow or ice on your mirrors when you remove the bags in the morning.) 
  • If your car is having trouble starting due to frigid temperatures, remember not to hold the starter for more than 10 seconds as that could kill your battery. Give the battery a minute to recover and then attempt to start the car again. If the battery is warmed up from the previous attempts it will have an easier time starting.

It's always smart to prepare your vehicle for winter by checking your battery, brakes, defroster, etc., but not everyone has the time or money to do everything on the list. At Town Fair Tire we can make sure that your vehicle has the right winter tires to get you safely through the winter season. When your vehicle finally does fire up, your tires are an essential component to maintaining control on the roads. You don't have to take my word for it, just watch the cringe-worthy video below and you'll catch my drift.