Ready to test your winter driving smarts?
True or False: You should under-inflate times for wider contact with the road and better traction in the snow.
To Verify, we spoke with Jim Youngless, service manager from Rad-Air in Cleveland. He said, while it is true that under-inflating would give you more rubber on the road -- It is a dangerous practice.
"The tire could come off the bead of the rim, and that's when you have a blow out. You could lose control of your vehicle," said Youngless. He said it's best to stick to the recommended PSI for your car, and make adjustments to tire pressure, depending on the weather temperature. Tires can lose as much as 2 pounds per square inch for every 10-degree decrease in temperature.
True or False: Winter tires don't make much of a difference compared to all-season tires.
"Oh, they make a huge difference," said Youngless.
But maybe you're thinking, "Jim just wants to sell more tires," right? However according to researchers at the University of Michigan, stopping distance with winter tires on a snow-packed road is 35-percent shorter than all-season tires.
So, the answer is false. Winter tires can make a significant difference in driving performance.
True or False: You need to warm up your car in cold weather.
Technically, it's true, but not like you used to with old carburetor cars. Youngless says only 20 to 30 seconds is enough.
"In the cold temperatures, the viscosity of the oil is really thick, so in that 20 to 30 seconds, that oil is pretty much up to the temperature it needs to be at," he said. He added that letting your car idle can actually do damage to modern-engine cars, not to mention wasting gas, and a negative impact on the environment.