Tips from Toby: Making sure your tires are ready for winter

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If you're not using a tire gauge, it's costing you a ton of money.

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with our cars: we love them when they're running great and it's truly fun to hit the open road, but boy when they have problems or break down, they a pain!

With the new computer systems in our cars these days there isn't as much we can take care of ourselves, but the things we can take care of are very important and tire pressure is one of the easiest.

"Safety is probably the first and foremost," says Gene Fellows, owner of the Auto Clinic. "The control of the vehicle, you can imagine having three tires at the proper pressure and one that is say 10 pounds or even 15 too low. The controllability of the car is hugely sacrificed. But the biggest thing is probably tire wear. You're going to see a 10 percent reduction in the longevity of the tire if they are under inflated."

Fellows says that most of us forget that there is a little thing called an owner's manual. Here's a tip, it's usually in the glove box. Just reading it can help with a wealth of info to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals.

The other thing to consider right now, as cold temperatures are already in the forecast, is to get your car tuned up and topped off each season by a trusted dealer.

"In a few months we may be facing a 10 degree morning. Well, your engine is going to go from 10 degrees to about 205 degrees in as little as 15 minutes. So a lot of expansion is taking place there. So if you had a very minor antifreeze leak today under those conditions that may be a leak that will leave you on the side of the road," Fellows said.

There have been a lot of tragic accidents and even deaths from people trying to change a flat on the side of the highway. It's a good idea to know how to change a tire and go out one day and practice so it's not a mystery in case of an emergency. It's something the whole family can learn together!

There are so many easy things that you can do yourself to maintain your car. Don't wait till it breaks down, that's going to cost you a ton of money.

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