Check Tire Tread Depth
Worn tires are your worst enemy in winter. They increase your stopping distance and decrease stability on wet roads. Even though most states have a 2/32-in. minimum tread depth standard, independent tests have shown that tire traction decreases dramatically once your tires wear beyond 4/32-in. You can try to slide by through winter on low tread, but that's exactly what you'll be doing—sliding. A single skid into the curb at 5-MPH can easily cause $1,500 worth of damage to suspension and steering components. Sure, your insurance will cover it, but you'll have to pay the deductible and it'll count as an at-fault accident, raising your premiums for years. For about the cost of a single deductible, you can buy new tires or install winter tires and avoid those slip and slide accidents. To check the depth of your tread, use an inexpensive tire tread depth gauge (from any auto parts store). Check the tread depth in the center and outer edges of each tire. If your readings are less than 4/32-in., head right to a tire store.