It’s December and old man winter has returned to wreak havoc on our roads and vehicles. While freezing temperatures, ice and snowstorms can have lasting negative effects on your car, lets focus on some of the main threats to your OEM wheels this winter.
1. Tire Pressure
Extreme temperatures can cause the pressure in your tires to fluctuate, activating the light on your TPMS sensors. Pressure in your tires could decrease when parked and increase again while driving. This fluctuation can cause uneven wear on the treads and shorten the lifespan of your tires. It could also cause a blowout, which would not only be hazardous but could also bend or destroy your alloy wheels. Be sure to monitor your tire pressure and have your tires rotated.
2. Accidents from Poor Traction
Icy roads can pose a serious threat to your tires, especially if the tread is worn. Consider a winter wheel and tire set for the icy months. Winter tires are manufactured with deeper groves designed especially for snow and ice. These designs create more traction so you can stop faster and with more control. You can easily swap out your performance set and winter set with the weather.
We recommend steel wheels for your winter set. Steel wheels are relatively cheaper, heavier and stronger than alloy wheels and therefore a better defensive against potholes. Some tire centers also offer to store your wheel and tire sets.
You should also have your brakes and brake pads examined. Most importantly, drive defensively; especially in severe weather conditions and at busy intersections.
Sure, salt is your friend when it comes to winter driving, but it can also damage your alloy wheels. The moisture from melting snow combined with salt and left on your wheels for an extended time can work to corrode your alloy wheels. Be sure to keep your OEM rims clean and consider using a sealant to prevent future damage. When possible, it’s recommended to wash your car throughout the winter to remove harmful grime.
4. Wheel Alignment
With snow and ice generally comes snowplows and salt trucks. The combination of these elements gradually damages the road with cracks and potholes. When you hit road infractions at a high speed you can bend alloy wheels and/or throw off your wheel alignment. This seemingly minor occurrence can cause serious problems with your vehicle’s performance and drivability. If you suspect an alignment issue may be affecting your vehicle handling, contact a mechanic immediately. Steel wheels are also recommended for this reason because they’re stronger and more durable than alloy wheels.
5. Cracked Tires or Rims
Extremely low temperatures tend to make things brittle, including rubber tire products and certain types of rims. Performance tires are highly susceptible to this type of damage which is another reason we recommend winter wheel and tire sets. When the snow arrives this winter don’t forget to inspect your wheels and vehicle often… and drive responsibly.