When and Why Should I Get Snow Tires?
There are many reasons why a person should buy snow tires. For instance, even if a car has all-wheel drive, snow tires will increase stability and control of the vehicle. Furthermore, winter tires are specifically designed for winter conditions whereas all-season tires are not suited to just one particular weather condition.
How Winter Tires Are Different
Today’s snow tires are very different from all-season tires. Snow tires are made of rubber that does not lose its flexibility under 32 degree temperatures. This helps to grab traction among snow, ice and slush. The tread design is different as well. Most winter tires channel water more effectively and can bite into ice. Moreover, certain snow tires come with built in cleats, which are sharp pieces of metal that stick into the ice in order to gain maximum traction in slippery conditions. However, they may damage road surfaces and are not legal in all states.
When to Install Winter Tires and Tips to Follow
A good rule of thumb is to install winter tires when the temperature reaches 45 degrees F. Using winter tires in temperatures above this may cause premature wear. Depending on the type and amount of snow, chains and studs may also need to be used on the tires. It is also recommended that all four winter tires are used rather than just two. Only using two tires may lead to uneven traction and may result in fishtailing and over steering.
Not only is it necessary to know when to use winter tires, but it is also essential to understand how to store them during the off season. These tires should be laid flat and stacked neatly in a dry, cool place away from electric motors to protect the rubber from drying or cracking. Some people consider wrapping the tires in storage bags, which can be obtained from the dealer they were purchased from.
Winter tires are specially designed to help a car stay safe while navigating through slippery winter road conditions. Installing them at the right time will assure safety as well. It is always best to consult with a tire professional who can recommend the best kind of snow tires for individual needs.