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Winter Service FAQ in Pittsburgh, PA

Winter is an especially harsh time of year, with more driving hazards than any other times. With less visibility, snow, ice, and typically more drivers, it is important to have your vehicle properly serviced before you hit the roads. Below are some frequently asked questions about winter service:


What are winter tires?

Winter tires are optimal for colder months, especially because they are made with a special rubber compound that resists hardening in cooler temperatures. Winter tires also come with specially designed tread patterns, made to be deeper in order to add grip and to better divert water and slush. This is better for ice and snow, and also prevents hydroplaning more than standard tires.


If I buy two tires, where should I put them?

Buying two tires can be a great way to save money, especially if you don’t need all four replaced. It is important to purchase tires that are all the same (size, type, and brand if possible). If they are the same size, place the new tires on the rear axle and keep the least worn pair on the front in order to better avoid oversteering.


Will wiper fluid freeze?

Wiper fluid containers generally have the temperature at which they will freeze on the front, and most are sold with a rating of -20 degrees or less. If possible, opt for fluid that also works as a de-icer, making it less likely to freeze in the cold. Replacing wipers themselves is also a good idea during the winter.


Why does my tire pressure light come on in the winter?

Air pressure decreases at colder temperatures—about 1 psi per 10 degrees—meaning you should fill your tires in the wintertime in order to maintain proper inflation. Always check your owner’s manual and the tire for the proper psi.


What should an Emergency Kit include for the winter?

A whistle, fleece blanket, flashlight, batteries, cap, gloves, shovel, ice scraper, candle, and water are good to have around. Consider carrying an old cell phone as well, as these can be used to call 911 in an emergency should your current phone die.


Which is best—2WD, 4WD, or AWD?

For the winter, AWD has an adaptive system that can work in virtually any condition. 4WD typically modifies power to each wheel, but is less complex and is generally less able to adapt to severe conditions. 2WD vehicles get stuck the most during the winter, especially rear-wheel drive vehicles that do not add weight above the axle.
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