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Proper tires and windshield wipers are winter essentials

tire tread pic.jpeg
Posted at 6:54 AM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 07:54:36-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mechanics say having the right tire on your car and taking care of your windshield wipers make it easier to drive in the winter.

Keith Allen, a service manager at Sci-Tech Automotive in Raytown, Missouri, recommends getting all-season or all-weather tires for your car. He said they are not as extreme as snow tires, but will handle better in the snow and ice than regular, summer tires.

“The difference from the all season to the regular, summer tire is the summer tires are a little harder compound so the all season is a little softer and easier to grip in the snow,” Allen pointed out.

Another mechanic told 41 Action News if a customer is worried about driving in the snow, installing genuine snow tires will make an improvement and provide peace of mind.

No matter what type of tire you have, Allen said the depth of the tread is critical. The tread, or groove, of a tire allow water, snow and ice to escape from underneath the rubber, allowing tires to get better traction.

Allen recommends using a quarter to measure tread depth. Place the quarter upside down in the tread and if the tire covers part of George Washington’s head, you have enough depth. If the tread does not reach Washington’s head, consider getting new tires.

When a storm is on the way, Allen suggests pointing your wiper blades up in the air, off the windshield.

He said ice and snow can freeze the blades to the windshield causing them to tear when you remove them. Or worse, if you turn on your wipers while they’re frozen in place, it could ruin the motor which operates the wipers.

He suggests removing any snow or ice from your wiper blades before even turning on the car in case the wipers are still in the on position and turn on automatically when the car starts.