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Car Care Tips – Volume 6

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6. Check Your Tire Pressure

Here are two good reasons to get down there with the gauge and unscrew the valve caps as the weather cools:

  • Tires lose a pound of pressure for every drop of 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • An under inflated tire won’t “bite” through snow down to the pavement as well as one at pressure. It’s similar to hydroplaning on water — and just as dangerous. You may have heard the guidance to let air out of your tires for sand or snow to get more contact surface area. That only applies only if the surface is bottomlessly soft, like a beach or foot-deep, unplowed snow — not the mix of cleared road, ice and packed snow most of us encounter in daily driving.

Don’t forget to put the valve caps back on (or, buy new ones) when you’re done. Letting in moisture, which then freezes, could let the valve core leak out air.

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