Like winter seasons before it, this holiday season will be one of the busiest times of the year for travel. Not only will millions of Americans take to the roadways, many will do so in the most unfavorable of conditions.
Few things can dampen the holiday spirit like being stranded with a flat tire along a road in below freezing temperatures on roads that are covered in snow and ice. Before heading out for the holidays, it's a good idea to do the following:
- Check your tire pressure. Properly inflated tires not only increase efficiency, but also serve as a measure of protection against potholes and other road debris. Remember that tire pressure will drop roughly one psi every month and an additional psi for every 10 degrees of temperature change. Air pressure gauges only cost a few dollars and should be kept in a glove box or center console.
- Check the tread depth and condition of your tires. A tire's winter traction will deteriorate as tread depth diminishes and it's a good idea to begin the winter season with no less than 6/32" of remaining tread depth. Depth can be easily checked using a handheld tread depth gauge.
- Check the condition of your spare tire. Many spare tires spend years in hiding without being inspected. Make sure it is free of cracking and is properly inflated.
- Check the torque of your lug nuts or bolts. Torque spec settings can be found in your owner's manual.
- Make sure you have a lug wrench, jack kit and any applicable lock keys accessible or stowed away in a convenient on-board compartment.
Missing something for your trip? View our accessories to help you have a safe driving experience this holiday season.