Finding the Proper Winter Tires
It is really important to find the right winter tires for your vehicle because they play a crucial role in the safety of yourself, your car and the people that you plan on traveling with. The specific climate you are in needs the right tire and for winter, that tire needs traction as well as control. Below are some key points that you will want to consider when trying to pick the right tires for your vehicle.
1. All Season Tires vs. Winter Tires: All season tires perform well throughout the year during a variety of weather conditions. However, their performance may not be what you need when the conditions are wet, snowy or icy. Winter tires are better for control in these conditions because they are made with heavier tread patterns and this improves control, assist braking and traction. The depth of the tread allows a greater surface area of the tire to come in contact with the surface. The more surface area contact increases the ability of the tire to push forward through snow and ice.
2. Traction Control or Anti-Lock Braking Systems: Unfortunately, these two things will not improve your vehicle's traction when it comes to winter driving on snowy and icy roads. Winter tires are the only thing that can actually help your vehicle perform in these weather conditions. Additionally, if you have all wheel or front wheel drive, you will still improve your safety by using winter tires.
3. Replacing your tires: You need to replace your tires when you see signs such as worn treads, bulges or cracks. It is recommended that you replace all four of the tires at the same time, so you can get the best traction and control. If you replace only the front or only the back, it can be possible that you spin out in slippery driving conditions if you are not careful. While it may be cheaper to replace some of the tires, if you have an accident, this will cost you a lot more money.
4. Size Matters: Your Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technician can recommend the best tires for your vehicle. This is important because buying tires that are too small or too big can negatively affect your vehicle's safety and performance.
5. Tire Maintenance: Your tires, especially your winter tires, need to be properly inflated at all times. Air pressure can be checked with an air gauge, and should be done at least once a week in the winter as your tires can lose pressure due to drops in temperature. By making sure that your tires are properly inflated, it will also help with your vehicle's gas mileage.