Is your car prepped for icy weather? Kennewick mechanic offers tips

KENNEWICK, Wash. – With single digit temperatures bound for the Tri-Cities, AJ Schneider with 360 Automotive in Kennewick has some tips for drivers to be prepared.

His first thought: if you have chains, know how to install them and have the necessary tools.

“Definitely gloves will help a lot, definitely wanna try it a couple of times before you leave. I know it sounds ridiculous but even in your driveway just so you get a rough idea,” he suggested.

Washington State Patrol has put out a video to learn how to install chains. Make sure you read the manual first to know which tires the chains go on, and the maximum speed you can go with them on. After gathering all the parts needed, Schneider said it’s fairly straight forward.

“The basic theory of it is you want to place the chain on the vehicle either the front or behind tire and then either drive backwards or forwards to get on top – kind of the center of it, then it’ll wrap around the edges,” he described.

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If you opt for winter traction tires, Schneider urges you to inspect them and keep track of their age.

“For example, it’s really easy if you only use it a couple times a year to end up with snow tires that are five, six, seven years old and even though they’re great on the tread depth wise they may loose some integrity because they may be weather cracked,” he said the tread isn’t always a good indicator of tire life.

If you’re headed to or through the pass, be sure to check conditions ahead of time on the Washington Department of Transportation’s Website and pack essentials in case you get stuck.

“Bring lights, blankets, some food, some water, make sure your cars topped off with gas. If you’re stuck on the pass for a couple of hours you don’t want to run out of gas and be stuck in the cold,” he said.