Winter Tires: Your No.1 Priority As Winter Approaches
As winter approaches, buying a set of winter tires for your vehicle should be your topmost priority. If you’ve got all-season tires on your car, despite the name you should know that while these tires are good in a wide range of conditions, they do not provide the same control and grip that winter tires do in snowy conditions.
You’ve got ultra high-performance tires on your vehicle? Well, they’re not good enough either. Sure these tires can convert your vehicle into your dream machine under normal weather conditions. But when the thermometer goes below 32°, the tread compound becomes hard and rigid, making the tires quite incompetent.
The truth is, only winter tires are designed to perform well in the sub-zero temperatures, snow, ice and slush that our country experiences during the peak of winter. You may drive a vehicle that is loaded with the most advanced ABS, traction control and other electronic driver aids aimed at provided optimum traction. However, all of these only increase your traction efficiency under normal-weather driving conditions. The only way you can increase traction and get more grip and control under snowy, slushy conditions is to install winter tires. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.
What’s So Special About Winter Tires?
Winter tires are manufactured from special compounds that provide better traction, better handling and better stopping when the temperatures dip below 45°F/7°C.
In addition to the material itself, the tread design is also different. Winter tires typically have a unidirectional, open tread design that performs most efficiently against accumulated snow.
The Debate Over Installing 2 v/s 4 Winter Tires
This is something I hear very often. Several customers come in saying that they just need two of the tires replaced as the other two seem okay. I would never recommend that you replace only 2 tires. To help maintain proper control and stability of your vehicle in slippery snow conditions, you have to install a set of 4 winter tires.
Equally important, all 4 tires should have the same internal construction and tread patterns for enhanced vehicle handling. Mixing up tires compromises the stability and performance of your vehicle.
Winter Tire Pressure
Once you’ve installed winter tires on your car, the next thing you need to do is to make sure you maintain proper air pressure in the tires according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Proper air pressure in the tires is the key to better handling and improved traction, safety and durability. When your tires are underinflated, all of the above aspects get compromised. It’s just not worth the risk.
Not sure whether your old winter tires are good enough or whether you need to buy a new set? At MyAutoPro.ca we will do a tire-check and give you our honest option. For a safer ride, call us before you venture out on Canada’s winter roads.