New Englanders have a lot to be proud of, including four seasons that offer breathtaking beauty and recreation. With these changing seasons comes the need to prepare for all types of weather, and your car is no exception.

Whether you have brand new or pre-owned vehicles, sedans or SUVs, work trucks or electric vehicles, proper maintenance is important — no matter the season. Here are some important tips to keep in mind.

Benefits of Proper Tire Maintenance

As AAA explains, tires affect braking, safety, and how your vehicle handles — all of which are crucial. You want to regularly make sure you have the right air pressure and tread depth, as well as proper alignment. Not only will this routine maintenance keep you and your passengers safe, but you’ll also save money on gas! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can improve your gas mileage up to 3% by keeping your tires properly inflated.

Tire Preparation for Winter

Many New Englanders opt for winter tires (or “snow tires”) in the colder months, but do you actually need them? In most cases, yes. As MotorTrend explains, “once temperatures approach and go past freezing, accompanied by snow and ice, all-season tires lose their capabilities — regardless of whether you have all-wheel drive.” Winter tires have certain rubber compounds and tread designs that allow for better gripping of the road in adverse weather.

Another set of tires might seem like an unnecessary expense but having two sets means your all-season tires will see less mileage per year, ultimately increasing their longevity.

Whether you opt for winter tires or stick to all-season ones, it’s important to make sure there is enough tread and proper air pressure. To check the tread, you can conduct a quick “penny test” by inserting a penny into the tire treads. If you can see Lincoln’s head, your tires are due for a rotation or replacement.

Tire Preparation for Spring

Spring weather in New England is hit or miss. You could see bright sunny skies one day and heavy rain the next, which means proper tire preparation and maintenance is crucial. If you have winter tires, it’s best to swap them out for your all-season ones once the snowy, icy weather is behind you. (Unfortunately for New Englanders, that could mean late spring!)

Check your all-season tires for tire pressure and signs of wear, including cracks. The spring is also a good time for a tire rotation and alignment since potholes and bumps in the road left over from winter can knock things off kilter.

Tire Preparation for Summer

Yes, you do need to prepare for tires for the hot, humid days of summer! Plus, it’s also the perfect time to replace tire pads and check the rotors.

Make sure your tread is even and that you have the correct tire pressure; sometimes, tires overinflate during the summer months due to air expanding in the warm temperatures.

Tire Preparation for Fall

Again, it’s time to check tread and tire pressure! Fall in New England often means warmer days and cooler nights, so there’s a good chance your tire pressure light may go on during the first sign of cold weather.

Additional Maintenance Tips for the Changing Seasons

Tires are certainly important, but here are some other points to keep in mind:

  • Get regular oil changes and have skilled professionals check your breaks and battery
  • Check your fluid levels and wiper blades
  • Ensure your heat and AC work before you need them

It also never hurts to research reputable auto body collision shops so you have one handy in the unfortunate event of an accident. And though it’s not specifically maintenance related, we also recommend contacting your auto insurance company to see if you’re eligible for any new discounts. You can do this at any time – not just when your policy is up for renewal. Many providers offer safety-related and good driving discounts, so it’s always worth a quick phone call or email.

And that’s it! New Englanders have a lot going for them— great restaurants and breweries, easy access to both mountains and the ocean, some pretty great sports teams, and four seasons that offer a lot in terms of recreation and beauty. Make sure you take full advantage of it all by keep your car and tires in top shape, no matter the time of year.