While California is known for its sunny disposition, the chillier months can bring about driving conditions that demand a change in tires. Even if temps don't drop below zero, this procedure is still required - it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Why Using The Proper Tires Is Important
Your vehicle's tires are its only point of contact with the road, making their choice critical for safety and performance. In colder weather, road conditions can change drastically - from wet roads to the occasional frost in some parts of California. The right tires can provide better grip and handling, reduce braking distances, and ensure overall safety. They are designed to adapt to lower temperatures and different road textures, offering peace of mind during your drives.
What Tires To Use In California During Colder Months
In most urban and suburban areas of California, where snowfall is rare, all-season tires are an ideal choice. They're designed to handle a variety of conditions including dry roads, rain, and mild cold. Their versatility makes them a convenient option for drivers who experience moderate weather changes.
All-season tires are made with a rubber compound that remains flexible in colder temperatures, unlike summer tires that can harden. Their tread pattern is also designed to provide a good grip on both wet and mildly icy roads.
In regions like the Sierra Nevada, where snow and ice are more common during winter, winter tires or snow chains become necessary. These areas often have regulations requiring vehicles to have winter tires or carry chains during certain months.
Winter tires are crafted with a softer rubber compound that stays flexible in cold temperatures, providing better traction on snow and ice. Their tread pattern is deeper and more pronounced than all-season tires, designed to grip snowy roads and reduce snow buildup in the treads.
What To Do After The Tire Change
Changing tires is just the first step. Proper post-change maintenance ensures optimal performance and safety:
Regular tire rotation helps in achieving uniform wear across all tires, which is vital for maintaining good handling and prolonging tire life. It ensures that front and rear tires wear down evenly, especially important in front-wheel-drive vehicles where front tires wear out faster.
The common rotation pattern involves moving the front tires to the rear and the rear tires to the front. In some cases, they may also be switched from left to right. This pattern may vary depending on whether your tires are directional or non-directional.
Wheel balancing involves adjusting the weight distribution around a vehicle's wheel. Technicians use a specialized machine to identify where the weights should be added to the wheel to counterbalance any heavy spots.
An unbalanced wheel can lead to vibrations, particularly at higher speeds, and can cause faster wear of tires, suspension, and steering components.
Wheel alignment involves adjusting the angles of the wheels so they are set to the car manufacturer's specifications. Proper alignment ensures that the tires make optimal contact with the road.
Misaligned wheels can lead to uneven tire wear, poor handling, and decreased fuel efficiency. They can also cause the car to pull to one side, which can be dangerous, especially at high speeds.
If you ever need any tire services, or other vehicle maintenance and repair tasks, Folsom Automotive Service LLC is always one call away from helping!