When you get to that point in the year when the summer is long gone and you start to feel the cold, vehicle maintenance might be the last thing on your mind. Having to defrost the car in the morning becomes a chore – even if you’re lucky enough to own a Ford with a heated front screen, you’ll still find yourself shivering waiting for it to clear, even though you’re not getting to work with a scraper.
You should certainly be checking your tyre pressures in winter though, making sure they fall within the guidelines issued by the manufacturer. You won’t need to know anything particularly special though, other than how to read the tyre pressure sticker to know what the reading should be when you attach your portable compressor to the tyre valve.
We’ve heard all sorts of stories over the years about how you should let your tyres down a bit when its icy, with some crazy theory about getting more grip with the road with soft tyres. The truth is though, you should always follow the guidance of the tyre brands and your vehicle manufacturers, and I’m yet to see any official guidance about letting your tyres down when you see a snow flurry. I suspect if there’s any benefit at all traction wise from lower pressure, the chance of a tyre failing makes the safety risk greater by ignoring the guidance.
If you’re really worried about grip on icy roads, you’d be much better placed if you follow this great advice from whichtyres.com on winter tyres, which (pardon the pun) gives you a run down of why winter tyres should be considered if you’re venturing out in the car on very cold days. What’s more they provide an informative and slightly humourous insight into the inadequacies of the tyre labelling systems too!