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Pep Boys Offers Motorists a Three-Point Checklist for Safe Winter Driving


PHILADELPHIA December 7, 2011; With the increased possibility of extreme weather this winter, Pep Boys reminds motorists to regularly check their vehicles and inspect or replace worn tires.

According to the American Meteorological Society, there are approximately 1.2 million weather related accidents in the United States each year. Inclement weather conditions such as rain, snow, sleet and fog demand that drivers maintain increased stopping distances, decrease their highway speeds and avoid sudden stops or abrupt lane changes. Aside from changing the way one drives, there are also preventable measures drivers can take to make sure their vehicles are ready for the changing weather.

Inspect your lights:

In many states, it's required by law to have your headlights on when encountering rain, snow and foggy conditions. Before heading out on the road, be sure to check your headlights, turn signals and brake lights. Make sure they are functioning properly and are free of obstructions such as road salt, mud or road grime. With its professionally trained staff and large selection of parts, Pep Boys can help you replace or repair worn and cracked lenses and replace burned out lights.

Check your windshield and windshield wipers:

Make sure your windshield is free of grease and oil. In rainy or snowy conditions, windshield wipers can smear residue left on the windshield from a summer of driving, making visibility a challenge. Clean your windshield with soap and water and wipe down your windshield wiper blades with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water to remove any additional residue. Inspect the rubber blades for cracking and wear, and replace as needed.

Inspect your tires:

Tires are literally ‚€œwhere the rubber meets the road‚€??? and they are one of the biggest influencers to driving safely during inclement weather. New tires can allow drivers to brake quicker, handle better and avoid danger on the road. Braking in rainy, icy and snowy conditions can be treacherous on balding or damaged tires. Inspect your tires for damage and wear, make sure they are properly inflated and replace or inflate them as necessary.

A simple visual inspection, done at home or your local service station, can prove invaluable. Check tires for signs of premature or extreme wear. Each tire should show signs of wear uniformly. Tread should not be worn on the outside edges or center only, these are signs of tires that may be misaligned, out of balance or improperly inflated.

Inflation ratings vary by vehicle. To determine the proper pressure for your tires, consult your owner‚€™s manual or the inside of the vehicle‚€™s door jamb. Local service centers, like Pep Boys, can check for wheel balance and proper alignment.

There are a number of ways to inspect and measure tire wear. Perhaps the most well-known is the penny measurement. With a penny in hand, place the coin upside down into the tread with Lincoln‚€™s head first. If the top of Lincoln‚€™s head is still visible, the tires are in need of replacement. Some tires have built-in wear indicators that allow for a quick visual inspection. Each of these indicators are raised portions of rubber within the bottom of the tread grooves. When they appear flush with the rest of the tread, it‚€™s time to replace the tire.

For climates that are particularly cold, special winter tires may be a good option as a seasonal replacement. Winter tires vary by tread pattern and tread wear rating. Some specialty tires even come with implanted studs in the tread for increased traction in icy conditions. Winter tires generally have a lower lifespan than traditional all-season or summer tires, but they provide the best option for snowy conditions.

With more than 700 stores across the country, Pep Boys is a good option for drivers who have additional questions or need their vehicles inspected and serviced. In fact, this past month, Pep Boys was honored as the top satisfying tire retailer in the Midwest by automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm, AutoPacific.

‚€œWith more than a million tires in inventory, Pep Boys can accommodate most vehicles, even if tires are needed last-minute or during holiday travel,‚€??? said Scott Webb, Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing. ‚€œWe‚€™ve taken the mystery out of the tire buying experience and made it easy with TreadSmart.‚€???

TreadSmart is a tire selection system that allows customers to research what they need before they purchase on-line or in-store. TreadSmart puts the customer in the driver‚€™s seat ‚€“ literally. The web-based system asks tire buyers questions specific to that individual‚€™s driving habits, and makes recommendations based on that information. Plus, unlike any other online tire buying system, TreadSmart allows the customer to schedule installation at a Pep Boys location convenient to the driver‚€™s home or office ‚€“ even same day.

As always, Pep Boys will perform free tire pressure checks during normal business hours and will beat any tire deal by 5%.

For more information on making your car ready for winter weather, TreadSmart or tire buying, visit

About Pep Boys

Since 1921, Pep Boys has been the nation's leading automotive aftermarket chain. With more than 7,000 service bays in more than 700 locations in 35 states and Puerto Rico, Pep Boys offers name-brand tires; automotive maintenance and repair; parts and expert advice for the Do-It-Yourselfer; commercial auto parts delivery; and fleet maintenance and repair. Customers can find the nearest location by calling 1-800-PEP-BOYS (1-800-737-2697) or by visiting