Roadway accidents increase in the winter, due to colder conditions. When the roads are wet and cold, this can cause freezing – even in a warm climate like here in California. European supercar and luxury vehicle owners might opt to keep their precious investments in the garage during the winter months, but others might not. For those of you who do drive your world-class vehicles in winter, there are some precautions you can take to avoid hydroplaning, sliding or skidding. The main way you can protect yourself and your car from wintery road conditions is to make sure your tires are in top shape and winterized.
- How Old Are Your Tires?
Determining the age of your tires is one of the first measures you can take to avoid becoming a victim of wintery roadways. Rubber will naturally breakdown over time, regardless of how much you use it – and of course, your tires are no different. We recommend typically replacing your tires at least every 7 years on normal cars. However, this can be different for supercars and luxury vehicles that have higher performance than your everyday consumer vehicle. It all depends on how much you drive, how far you drive, and your vehicle.
There is a seven-digit tire identification number on all tires here in the U.S. This number is located on the sidewall of your tires. The last two digits will indicate the year the tires were manufactured. If you are unsure about how safe your older tires might be, bring them to a European auto specialist as soon as you can.
- Inspect the Depth of Your Tire Tread
Driving with proper tread depth on your tires is imperative to ensure safety in wet conditions – not just wintery roadways. Tires with proper tread depth have tread grooves that will channel the water out from under your tires, which ensures that your tires meet the road. The general rule of thumb when it comes to treading depth is the penny test. Place a penny in the grooves of the tread with Lincoln’s head facing down. If the tread covers part of Lincoln’s head, your tire tread is good. If you are able to see the entire head, you should replace your tires immediately.
- Proper Tire Maintenance
If you notice that your tires are wearing unevenly, pull the vehicle to one side or make some strange noises, get your vehicle to a European auto technician immediately. Fixing the issues that come along with the tires and their components on European cars need special tools and expert knowledge. Throughout the year, no matter what you drive, there are three different proper tire care maintenance services you should get done to your car. They are tired of balancing and rotation and wheel alignment. Your European auto mechanic will tell you how often or how badly your vehicle will need these services performed.
Tire rotation ensures they wear evenly and balancing them is done by putting small weights on them to even out the weight distribution because tires aren’t precisely round. Performing wheel alignments is when your mechanics will observe and adjust the various components of the suspension according to the unique needs of your vehicle.