Spring Driving Tips

Winter has passed, along with most of the year's worst driving conditions. But as a driver, you still need to be prepared for the different driving challenges that come with each passing month. Here's how to be ready on the road when spring comes around.

Air pressure and temperature changes

Maintaining the proper air pressure helps to ensure that your tires can perform as designed. As the average outside temperature changes from winter to spring, there will be fluctuations in the air pressure of your tires.

We recommend checking your tires for the correct air pressure monthly and before any long trips, but especially after any extreme changes in temperature. Learn more about tire air pressure and temperature changes.

For the best possible performance, we suggest you inflate your tires to the manufacturer-recommended pressure, which can be found on the driver’s door panel, on the glove box door, or in the owner’s manual. Maintaining the proper air pressure will help you combat some of the most common challenges in spring driving, including rain and potholes.

Wet weather driving in the spring

Spring weather often has sporadic downpours, which can make driving quite difficult. When rainwater mixes with oil or grime on the streets, the roads can become very slick.

If there is a sudden downpour, your vehicle could hydroplane. You should adjust your speed and pay very close attention to the road surface, watching for standing water that might cause hydroplaning.

When it comes to wet weather driving, your tread depth also plays a big role. We recommend checking your tread depth when you check your air pressure (once a month, and before any long trips).

Wet weather traction can be seriously diminished as early as 5/32nds of tread depth. With the sporadic rain and possible damaged road conditions, your tires must have enough tread depth to evacuate water from the contact patch and properly grip the road. Learn more about measuring tread depth.

New pothole hazards emerge in the spring thaw

If you live in a region that deals with harsh winter conditions, you should keep an eye out for serious potholes after the ice thaws. During the winter months, moisture can seep into the road surface, and repeated freezing and thawing can cause potholes.

If hit a pothole hard enough, it can seriously damage your tires and wheels. The faster you are driving, the more serious the damage could be.

If you cannot avoid hitting a pothole, reduce your speed before hitting it, but release the brake before actually striking the pothole. It is worth noting that properly inflated tires are less susceptible to damage from potholes than underinflated tires.

After hitting a pothole, we recommend having your tires and wheels inspected for damage. Potholes can bend and or crack wheels and cause irreparable damage to tires.

Damage from potholes may not be noticeable to you immediately but can cause wheel and/or tire failure in the future. If you catch the damage early, it can prevent more serious damage from occurring down the road.

If you have any questions or need any assistance, stop by your local Discount Tire and we'll get you taken care of.

 

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