Winter brings with it the holiday season and the joy of family get-togethers. Unfortunately, one part of the winter most people don’t look forward to is the driving conditions. Ice, snow, slush, and freezing rain are just some of the weather conditions you may encounter during the winter. Snow tires or winter tires provide enhanced traction that helps you navigate the roads during the colder parts of the year.
Winter Tires: An Overview
Winter tires help improve your car’s handling in harsh winter conditions. These types of tires make use of tread compounds and advanced tread designs to enhance handling and grip in cold temperatures. The tread design of winter tires improves traction and stopping distance by using a tread material designed to be more flexible in the cold. Stopping distance is of utmost importance when driving in less-than-ideal conditions and winter tires improve braking performance by 20 percent. When directly tested against all-season tires winter tires stop your car 28 feet shorter. This shorter stopping distance keeps you safer when road conditions are not at their best.
When To Use Winter Tires
When deciding if winter tires are useful for your automobile keep the weather in mind. If you live in a location where the temperature is below 45F (7.2C) consistently, or you encounter winter weather conditions during regular commuting winter tires are a good idea. While all-season tires are not completely inappropriate for winter driving the extra handling performance and traction winter tires offer can make your driving experience safer and less stressful.
Driving Safety Tips
When driving on winter tires, the following tips can help keep you safe.
- To improve overall handling and stability, install your winter tires in full sets of four.
- While features such as four-wheel drive and traction control can improve your car’s overall performance, they do not optimize grip during all types of winter driving or the conditions you may encounter.
- Any winter tires you buy should have a Severe Snow Conditions Symbol imprinted on the sidewall. This ensures your winter tires meet the proper standards for snow traction as recognized by the Rubber Manufacturers Association or RMA.
When your winter tires are not in use, they need to be cleaned and properly stored. Your winter tires should be stored in a cool dry place as exposure to too much heat can damage them. A basement or garage is ideal for tire storage. Also, consider placing your tires in storage bags as this protects the rubber from cracking or drying out.
Categorised in: Vehicle Repairs
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