There is a season - turn, turn, turn. Whether you like it or not, fall is here and winter is waiting to blast us with sleet and snow. A common question many drivers ask this time a year is, "Do I really need winter tires?"
A full set of winter tires is the only way for drivers to guarantee maximum performance, traction and control in the winter months.
Winter tires (a.k.a. snow tires) are able to effectively deal with snow and ice because aggressive tread patterns and specially designed rubber compounds help them remain more flexible in cold weather. Even all-season tires don’t get the kind of traction on snowy covered roads that winter tires do. Winter tires deliver 25-50% more traction in snow and ice than all-season tires.
But for a car or truck to get the most out of winter tires, they need to be installed at the right time of year. Putting the tires on too early in the season will often diminish their effectiveness and can cause them to wear very quickly. The softer rubber that makes the tires more effective on icy roads makes them wear faster in warmer weather.
A great indicator of when to install winter tires on your car is the temperature outside. The general rule for winter tires is to install them when the temperature is consistently around or under 45 degrees Fahrenheit (or 7 degrees Celsius). All-season tires are less effective when the temperature dips below that mark and vehicle owners can properly gain the benefits of winter tires specially engineered tread designs. For most car owners, that will mean installing the tires in late fall towards the end of October or early November.
Remember these other important tips when you install winter tires:
Install Your Winter Tires in Sets of Four
Mixing tires with different tread patterns, internal construction and traction capabilities can create an unstable vehicle. If a car has two winter tires in back with All Season tires in front and hits a patch of ice, the car won’t maintain its balance.
Install Your Winter Tires on a Dedicated Set of Winter Wheels
This will prolong the looks of your summer wheels by saving them from harsh road salts and sand and will also save you the costs associated with mounting and balancing the tires each season. This is a great way to ensure that both your winter and summer tires don't endure the added fatigue of being mounted or dismounted every season too. Your local tire store should have you covered with an optional off season storage service, to clean and store the off-season tires and wheels in a secure, climate controlled distribution environment.
When snow hits, winter tires will allow car and truck owners to drive with confidence and keep them safe throughout the cold winter months. For more insight, take a look at the frequently asked questions about winter tires and take a look at building a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package.
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