Winter car tire maintenance

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. With the recent cold snap, you may have noticed a tire pressure symbol go on in your car, that’s because the cold air is causing your tires to lose pressure. Once that symbol goes on, it may be time to top off those tires before it ends up costing you.

Dave Shaw with Downtown Auto in Green Bay says improper tire pressure can make your tires more prone to damage.

"On a soft tire, if you were to really force an impact against it, poof then all the air comes out and now you are out of air, driving it at any degree is going to wreck the tire," said Shaw.

Shaw says you can find the proper tire PSI inside the driver's side door.

Matthews Tire in Ashwaubenon estimates for every 10 degree temperature shift your tires can lose two to three pounds per square inch of pressure, the colder it gets the more air you lose, the hotter it gets the more air expands.

They say even though nitrogen may run cooler than regular air, filling your tires with nitrogen will not make a significant impact, so it's not worth the money.

"Unless you're driving under extreme conditions, it probably doesn't make any difference at all, they say it would run cooler, well if you are going 200 miles an hour then it probably does run cooler, but driving around town, it doesn't really do anything," said Tom Winninghoff, store manager of Matthews Tire and Auto Service.

Another thing to keep in mind is the type of rims on your car.

"A lot of today's cars have aluminum cast wheels and they do build up with corrosion between the sealing surface of the tire and the rim," said Shaw.

"The common thing that we see is what happens with the salt on the road, corrosion builds up on the aluminum rims and that causes leaks, I mean we’ve probably been seeing fifteen a day and I bet twelve out of the fifteen were from corrosion built up on the rims that caused them to leak," said Winninghoff.

Winninghoff says in addition to checking tire pressure and rims, he recommends tread on your tires be at least 4/32 of an inch when driving in cold conditions.