Prepping for Holiday Travel? Follow These Important Tire Tips

Before you deck the halls, you have to depend on your tires.

The holiday travel season carries high stakes. The most wonderful time of year can become miserable if you’re stranded on the side of the road. Here are some quick tips to make sure your tires are ready to guide your holiday journeys.

Check the Weather – and Your Tires

Before you hit the road for the holidays, make sure you’re driving a set of tires that are approved for driving in winter conditions. Believe it or not, so-called “all season tires” aren’t actually designed for travel in temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and they’ll slide like hockey pucks on ice and snow.

Instead, look for tires certified with the three-peak mountain snowflake emblem on the sidewall. Winter and all-weather tires are built for use in frigid conditions. Nokian Tyres invented both types of tires and offers peace of mind that lets drivers Forget the Forecast.

Nokian Tyres WR G4
The all-weather Nokian Tyres WR G4.

Turn Up the Pressure: monitor your tire pressure level

Tires that aren’t inflated to their recommended level are more prone to blowouts. They’re also less efficient and create more emissions. Find your vehicle’s recommended inflation level in your driver-side door jamb or owner manual, then get pumped up. And remember that cold weather and altitude can decrease tire pressure, so inflate accordingly.

Person uses a Tire Pressure gauge on a tire

Tread Deeply: check your tire tread

The shallower your tire’s tread, the less responsive it is to the road – especially in slick conditions. Use a tire tread gauge to ensure you have at least 4/32 of an inch of tread remaining. You can also use the penny test: insert a penny upside-down into various tread grooves. If you can see Abe Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.

Get Rotated and Aligned: Ensure regular tire rotation

It’s important to rotate your tires every 4,000 to 8,000 miles – pretty much whenever you get your oil changed. If it’s been longer than that, drop by your local service shop to get that done. Failure to regularly rotate tires can lead to irregular wear and lesson the life – and safety – of your rubber.

Check Your Spare

Make sure your spare tire is properly inflated and has sufficient tread depth. We hope you don’t have to use your fifth tire, but it’s a good insurance policy.

Know Your Surroundings

When you map out your route, build a list of tire dealers along the way. If you need roadside assistance, there is an army of helpful tire professionals standing by to help during the holiday season. Check our dealer locator to find tire dealers near you.

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