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How to Prepare Your Tires for Winter Weather

With winter officially upon us, and sleet and snow creating slippery street surfaces, it’s important to make sure that your tires are well-equipped for slick conditions. Many car accidents typically brought on by icy highways and frigid temperatures can be avoided if we take the time to verify that our vehicles are in tip-top shape. Here are four tips that will hopefully prevent unnecessary accidents from occurring in your area:

Image: Check your tire pressure

Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Traction is essential for grinding through snow and directly related to the inflation of your tires. Colder temperatures tend to decrease tire pressure, so it’s essential to take precautions and gauge your current levels. Your car manual will inform you on the right inflation pressure.

Always carry chains. Blizzards can befall suddenly and without warning. Prevent the risk of driving in hazardous conditions. And, perhaps more importantly, learn how to suit up your tires in their metal jacket before you’re caught stranded.

Consider investing in winter tires. Clearly, if your tires are built to withstand winter weather, the better shape you’ll be when “Arctic Blizzard ’08/’09″ rolls in unexpectedly. If you have 4-wheel-drive and know your car can handle a little white fluff on the ground, verify that the system is still reliable – especially if it hasn’t been engaged in the last six months.

Get your wheels aligned. Alignment enables your car to travel on the straight and narrow, which is especially valuable for extending the life of your tires. In icy conditions, it is vital that wheels are correctly aligned in order to maintain control and handling over your vehicle.

Vredestein Tires are Ultra-Cool for Winter

For car enthusiasts concerned about keeping up on the latest trends, sometimes the most buzz-worthy car parts come from distant locations. Originating in the Netherlands, Vredestein tires have become a popular performance brand name known for their sleek look and quiet capabilities. Customers choose the tires to achieve a smooth ride with ultimate control, which make them especially popular for winter driving.

Not only is the tire brand garnering attention within the auto market, but its image has caught the attention of the advertising industry as well. In November, Vredestein was named a “Cool Brand” in the newest edition of “CoolBrands, the Guru Book” – a prestigious marketing source that provides a collage of the world’s most interesting product or service advertising.

The official tire for the Audi Q5, Vredestein spurred shock and awe with their take on the spare tire. Incorporating functionality and innovation into design, they developed a folding tire called the Space Master that can be inflated in minutes, while still being capable of traveling long distances. The tire made for premium vehicles is an ultimate space saver.

The inventive tire company emphasizes creativity, specialized research and state-of-the-art equipment in their product development, experimenting with new applications of materials and production procedures to ensure that their products are highly competitive. Vredestein Tires works closely with vendors and aims to produce a range of tires with optimal price-quality ratios.

Choose the Right Tires to Save Gas

A variety of factors go into the fuel economy of a car. Although tires are not often the first feature that energy-conscious consumers look into when measuring the gas efficiency of a vehicle, tires do indeed contribute to the way in which a car uses fuel.

The role of tires in gas efficiency has been a hot topic of discussion in the past: President-Elect Obama made the claim in April 2008 that tire inflation boosts gas mileage — a remark that was initially mocked, but turns out to be supported by reports indicating that proper inflation can improve mileage by 3 percent. Other variables in fuel efficiency include tire weight and rubber make.

5 percent of gas is used up by the rolling resistance, or energy output, of a tire. Low-rolling resistance tires perform the best in government fuel economy tests because they require the least amount of push to move. Consumer Reports researched the affects of low-rollers on gas mileage, calculating that about $300 a year can be saved by opting for tires with the best rolling resistance.

California led the way for state-wide support of a fuel economy initiative, implementing a gas-efficient tire program in summer 2008 that establishes minimum efficiency standards for passenger cars and light-duty trucks. Of the approximately 26 million passenger vehicles currently registered in California, 21 million vehicles are not running on low-rolling resistent wheels. The California Energy Commission projects that if these cars used tires with a 10% lower rolling resistance, the result would be a “statewide savings of 252 million gallons of fuel, $882 million, and 2.7 million metric tons less CO2 emissions annually.”