Winter Driving and Tire Tips
Safe winter driving is all about planning and good judgment:
- Treat yourself to a new snow brush with a good ice scraper and keep it handy in your vehicle.
- Stock up on windshield washer fluid. You’ll go through a couple of gallons or more during the winter. Use a funnel to avoid spills on your engine, garage floor, or driveway. The toxic liquid is
hazardous to pets.
- Carry an emergency kit in a bag or box in your trunk, including jumper cables, a bottle of dry gas, a flashlight, flares or reflective traffic triangles, a blanket, and food and water.
- Inform family and friends of your route and travel plans.
- Use your headlights, even during the day, so that other motorists can see you.
- Adjust your speed to the road conditions.
- Stay alert, drive cautiously, and don’t drink and drive. Use a designated driver for holiday parties.
- A four-wheel drive truck or SUV does not make you invincible. Reduce your speed and use common sense.
Winter tires, or snow tires, are an excellent investment in improved road handling and confidence. All-season radial tires offer good traction on dry, wet, or snowy pavement, but are not true
performers in winter. In cold temperatures, the rubber in all-season tires hardens and loses some of its grip.
Winter tires are designed for temperatures below 45 degrees. The rubber is softer and stickier. Winter tread patterns chew through packed snow. To make it easier and less expensive to change from
your summer tires to your winter tires, have us mount them on a basic, inexpensive set of wheel rims. And forget the myth than you can get by with two winter tires on the drive wheels only; it’s like
wearing a hiking boot on one foot and a sneaker on the other.
Mr. Tire, Tread Quarters, and Autotire have extensive inventories of high quality, economical tires. Our tire experts look forward to assisting you in the selection of
a dependable set of winter tires, designed for your vehicle and the way you drive.
Spring Driving and Tire Tips
Driving conditions improve but be ready for showers.
- Time to switch to some all-season radial tires, such as Yokohama ENVigor or Avid Touring-S. Soft winter tires wear fast in temperatures above 45 degrees.
- As you put away your winter treads, it’s the perfect time to buy new tires. You can search for new tires by tire brand or your vehicle make/model in our search bar above.
- If you put off servicing your car because of the snow, that excuse has melted away.
- Steer around the potholes if you can; after the roads are patched have our technicians check your vehicle’s alignment.
- Slow down and increase your following distance during spring showers. Watch for pedestrians who cannot see or hear as well in the rain.
- Use low beam headlights in foggy conditions. High beams reflect from raindrops and fog, actually making it harder to see.
- Avoid large puddles of water which are as dangerous as patches of ice. Your car can hydroplane on the surface. Splashing water also affects your brakes and makes it difficult for other drivers to
- Keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure for safer handling, longer tire life and up to 3% better gas mileage.*
- Don’t get steamed. Ask a tech at Tolker Auto Service to check the level and condition of your coolant. Your radiator could be due for a flush and fill, which we recommend every two
years or 30,000 miles.
- Also, have a pro check your car air conditioner.
Warm weather driving presents a different set of challenges compared to the slippery roads of winter. Most of us drive on all-season radials that are designed to handle the heat, highway miles,
and sudden downpours.
Studies show that a tire’s traction on wet pavement drops off significantly once the tread wears to about half its original depth. Most passenger car tires start with 10/32 inch. To make certain
your tires are still capable of sluicing away spring showers, try the Quarter Test. It’s 4/32 of an inch between the coin rim and the top of Washington’s head. Turn our founding father upside down
into your tire grooves, checking several spots.
If the tread covers part of his head, you're o.k. If not, it’s time to shop for new tires. Don’t wait until your tires reach the legal limit of 2/32 inch.
With rising gas prices, you might be interested in models that can actually boost fuel efficiency. It’s estimated that up to 15% of a car’s fuel consumption is used to overcome rolling
The tire experts at Tolker Auto Service look forward to assisting you in the selection of a dependable set of spring tires, designed to fit your vehicle and the way you drive.
Summer Driving and Tire Tips
Beat the Heat.
Summertime, and the Drivin’ Is Easy...But It Can Be Safer and Cheaper
- If this summer calls for a road trip, schedule your vehicle for an Oil Change Service at Tolker Auto Service. We’ll check your car from bumper to bumper—including fluid levels, belts, hoses,
brakes and tires—to ensure that your getaway is safe and hassle free.
- Watch the lead foot. You can save 25% on gas by driving 55 miles per hour on the expressways, instead of 70 miles per hour. That’s like getting a dollar back for every gallon that you put in your
- Boost your fuel economy an additional 10% by cutting out jackrabbit starts and stops. Gradual acceleration and deceleration is easier on your engine and brakes. Total savings—now $1.40 per
- When’s the last time you checked the air in your tires? When you switched from your winter treads? Keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure and you can save an additional 3% on gas,
extend tread wear and prevent blowouts. Stop by Tolker Auto Service for a courtesy tire inspection and fill. Your good driver discount now totals $1.52 per gallon!
- Pack light to avoid putting luggage on top of the car. If must use the luggage rack, secure all items for safety. Better yet, invest in an aerodynamic carrier.
- On long trips, you’ll be tempted to allow your kids to sprawl in the back seat or cargo area. Don’t. Serious injury can result if you have to stop quickly or are involved in an accident.
- Take along water and healthy snacks. Keep a basic first aid kit in the glove box. Make frequents stops to rest, stretch your legs and stay alert.
- Car seats and booster seats, particularly buckles, can become extremely hot in the summer sun. Test them with your hand before buckling in children.
- Your parked car is no place for children or pets. Never leave them unattended, even for a short while. The temperature inside can reach a deadly 100 degrees or more.
- Driving in your neighborhood this summer watch for walkers, joggers, skateboarders and bikers. Be prepared for kids playing in front yards to dart into the road. Take care in backing out of your
In summer, driving conditions are optimal for most motorists to use their all-season radial tires. If you use your vehicle for recreation, however, you might need a heavy duty or performance tire.
Load index and temperature grade are important considerations if you pull a trailer or haul cargo. An “A” temperature resistance grade is recommended for towing. Off-road vehicles require
deep, heavy duty treads. Check your owner’s manual for specifications.
If you plan to buy new tires this summer, consider how you will use your vehicle year round. If you commute long distances, select a tire with a superior treadwear rating. To get the most out of
your tire investment, look for tires with rating of at least 300. An all-season tire will provide sufficient traction in rain or light snow, but in the northeast you will want to consider snow tires
Tolker Auto Service is your source for the best selection and lowest prices on passenger, truck, performance and economy tires. Our experts look forward to helping you select a set of tires
designed for your vehicle and the way you drive. You can even shop online before you buy. Just fill in the search boxes by brand, vehicle or tire size.
Fall Driving and Tire Tips
Don’t Take Leave of Your Senses when the Leaves Start Falling.
- Shorter days, colder temperatures, falling leaves, rain and fog...all make for tricky fall driving. Both you and your car need to be ready.
- Schedule appointment withTolker Auto Service for a fall servicing. We’ll check your car from bumper to bumper—including fluid levels, belts, hoses, tires, and brakes—to ensure that your
travels are safe and hassle free.
- Be sure your wiper blades and battery are up to the cold, rainy weather. We would be happy to check these for you.
- Early fall means back to school. Watch for walkers and bikers.
- When a school bus flashes its red lights, the traffic approaching from either direction must stop. Most bus drivers will flash yellow lights first. Stop at least 20 feet from the bus. In some
states, you must stop even on the opposite side of a divided highway.
- Leaf piles are a magnet for kids. Keep an eye out for children jumping, burrowing, and hiding in raked leaves next to the curb. Never drive over leaf piles.
- Don’t park over leaf piles, either. Hot mufflers and catalytic converters can set dry leaves on fire, as can sparks from your exhaust.
- Falling leaves are picturesque, but wet leaves are as slippery as ice.
- Before you start out, brush the leaves from your windshield and from under the wiper blades. Wet leaves cause streaking that makes it impossible to see.
- Periodically, clear the leaves from the air intake to your defogger. Check at the base of the windscreen, or under the hood at the back of the engine compartment.
- Deer are especially active in October through December, during the breeding and hunting season. Use your peripheral vision to spot animals before they enter the roadway. At night, watch for eye
- Keep a pair of sunglasses, a ball cap, or a visor handy. At this time of year, the low angle of the sun can make it difficult to see.
- Use common sense when driving in rain. Reduce your speed and watch for standing water. On multi-lane roads, drive in the middle lane to avoid puddles along shoulders and curbs.
- In fog, dim your headlights.
- As temperatures drop, watch for black ice, especially on country roads and streets shaded by trees.
All-season radial tires are well-suited to fall driving conditions—as long as they have sufficient tread for drizzly weather. That means more than the legal minimum of 2/32 inch. Give your tires
the Quarter test. The tread should cover the top of George Washington’s head when he’s turned upside down in the grooves. That indicates 4/32 inch of tread, much better for sluicing away rain.
When temperatures dip below 45 degrees, it’s time to think about winter tires. Winter or “snow” tires are made from softer rubber that does a better job of gripping cold pavement. Winter treads
are also specifically designed for snow and ice. Studded winter tires provide extra control, but wait for snow pack. Studs don’t perform well in rain.
Come to Tolker Auto Service for the best selection and lowest prices on all types of tires—passenger, light truck, performance and economy. Our experts look forward to
helping you select a set of tires designed for your vehicle and the way you drive.