Winter Tires: The Importance, Their Benefits and Things to Remember
Winter tires are specifically designed to help in delivering safety & control in ice, snow, slush, rain & cold weather. Winter tires will make your ride safer if you’re driving in subzero conditions. You should have the right tires when driving in winter weather because winter is extremely unpredictable: from heavy snowfall to black ice.
Winter tires are an important safety feature for those who live in colder climates because they’re designed to handle snow and ice better than all-season or summer tires. In this article, we’ll explain why winter tires are so important for drivers who live in colder climates, how they work, how much they cost vs. other options like all-season tires and even how to store them away for the spring!
All Season Tires vs Winter Tires
While all-season tires are a little bit good in the heat and a little bit good in the cold, winter tires are perfect in cold-climate driving, and it shows. With the compromise-free, cold-climate engineering behind winter tires, drivers can enjoy the cold-weather travel season with peace of mind to spare for themselves, or anyone using their ride.
Not Just for Snow and Ice
Did you know that all-season or summer performance tires get really, really hard when it’s cold outside? Hard tires can be a recipe for disaster. In cold weather, even on dry roads, the softer, more flexible rubber used in the construction of winter tires provides that all-important give that all-season tires lose when it’s cold out.
Are Winter Tires Necessary
Throughout the years, one of the questions I am repeatedly asked is “Are winter tires really necessary?”. The short answer is…”no”. The long answer is, “that depends on how fun and exciting you think it is to be stuck in the snow, carried off the highway, or sliding uncontrollably back down a slippery slope”.
Even if your vehicle is equipped with nice features like 4wd, AWD, traction control and/or anti-lock brakes, these features require a certain amount of traction to be used safely and effectively. While it is true that most passenger vehicles now come fitted with all-season tires, these tires are at best a compromise of traction, tread life, comfort, and noise reduction. They will not excel at any one of these tasks.
In the case of snow tires, the tires are constructed of a different rubber compound which allows the tire to still remain pliable at lower temperatures, thus improving your traction in snow or ice. The trade-off for this, however, is that they do not stand up to heat very well, and will have extremely short tread life if you drive on them year-round.
So in reality the short answer is yes. Although it is an added expense to your already stretched budget, a good set of snow tires on steel wheels will pay for themselves in a couple of years.
#1 A Winter Tires Are More Aggressive Than All-season Tires
There was a time when people changed their car’s summer tires to winter tires with the seasons. It was in the late 1970s when all-season tires were introduced, giving everyone the chance to keep the same tires on their cars all year long. It’s more convenient and eliminates the need to store a set of tires that are not in use, but all-season tires aren’t the best solution for winter driving. The tread pattern on an all-season tire is not as aggressive as a winter tire and the rubber compound isn’t as good in cold temperatures. So, there are some main differences between winter and seasonal tires.
#2 Winter Tires Can Save You Money
Money is an essential factor when it comes to deciding to buy winter tires. Since winter tires are designed to give you a better and safe drive during cold weather, you’re less likely to end up on the side of the road. You’re also less likely to be involved in an accident. Spending extra on winter tires today could save you the headache and cost of repairing damage later.
#3 Picking The Right Winter Tires Is Key
You can do research online to see which winter tires will fit your specific car. It can be confusing to make the final decision, so don’t hesitate to contact our experts for consulting.
#4 You Should Check Your Tire’s Pressure Regularly
It’s important to check your winter tire pressure on a regular basis. As temperatures drop, the pressure in your tires will decrease – ensuring that your winter tires have the right amount of pressure will extend their tread life, reduce fuel consumption, and keep you and your passengers safe on the road.
Drive in a Controlled Manner
Drive slowly and with utmost caution. When you have winter tires on your vehicle, you are assured of maximum traction, enhanced braking performance, grip and control and they help you handle unexpected stops in a better way. What is also probably even more important than using winter tires, is to be controlled with the way you drive in ice, snow and slush conditions. Even as the cold weather sets in, drive safe with winter tires.
Snow tires may seem like a fad to make you spend more on your car, but they truly aren’t. For this simple piece of mind of not getting stuck on hills very easily, this, in our opinion is a good reason to get winter tires.
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