Driving during the winter can be challenging when a mixture of ice, rain, snow and slush hits. Ensure that you car has a firm grip on the road with the right tires. Here are some tips to consider when buying snow tires so you can conquer the extreme winter weather driving conditions
Types of Tires
There are some areas where the roads are icy for most of the winter months and they allow drivers to use studded tires. Unfortunately, studded tires dig into roadways as well as the ice. However, some states don’t allow studded tires because they can ruin the roads. Studded tires are made from a special compound that performs well on ice and snow. They are specially designed to grip in snow and ice that can form within tire tracks on the road. These can be a good option for people have to drive in the worst snowstorms.
Performance Winter Tires
Performance winter tires are made for relatively clear roads when it’s only the cold weather you have to worry about in the winter. The rubber of normal, everyday tires can’t perform well in extreme cold conditions. If you don’t get lots of snow, you still need to consider a winter tire.
All-season tires work well in conditions that are slightly cold and wet. They can be used for many months as well as the coldest times of year. They can even be used in areas where there isn’t much snow at all.
Number of Tires
Some drivers insist on putting only 2 all-season or winter tires on their car. However, you’ll need all four of the same type of tires for the best grip of the road. When 2 wheels grip the road and 2 wheels don’t, the car could spin out of control on slick roads.
Tips for Buying
Earlier the Better
When you shop early on, you’ll get first pick at the best quality tires. Tire shops stock their new merchandise in the fall before the snow and cold weather starts. Don’t wait until the last minute to do tire shopping if you want an early advantage.
Tires with Rims
If you decide to buy snow tires, you will take them off after winter is over. When you use the tires properly, they will last longer. At the end of the season, remove the tires and store them in your garage. Consider whether you’ll want these tires to have their own rims. Every time you change the tires from all-weather to snow tires, you’re going to have to pay for the installation. This cost can increase when the shop installs the tires on the rims. If you plan on doing this yourself, having the rims already makes the job much easier.
Durability and Warranties
If you purchase an all-season or winter tire this year, make sure that the tire carries a warranty. While it might cost more to purchase 4 brand-new tires with a warranty, you’ll want to spend the money to guarantee the quality. Some warranties carry a tread-life warranty that can cover the tires for up to 5 years. That means 5 winters before you have to worry about another set of winter tires. Expensive tires with a warranty are less likely to lose tread quickly. The manufacturer gives you a warranty because they know that the tires are durable.
Downsizing Tire and Rim Size
While you might have stylish rims and large tires for the milder months, it might make more sense to downsize the tires and rims for winter. When you have tires on their own rims, you don’t have to worry about finding the same size tires. This could save you money if you decide to go with sixteen inch or seventeen inch tires instead of eighteen.
Rim Materials in the Snow
There are 2 types of materials to consider when changing out your tires for winter ones. Aluminum alloy rims are lighter, which can be an advantage during mild months. However, it could be a serious problem in the winter over snow and ice. Adding substantial weight to the tires in the winter can keep the wheels more grounded. This is why some people add sand bags to the trunk of light cars in the winter.
Choosing snow tires in the cold months depends on your budget as well as the amount of snow and ice you’ll have to navigate. Whether you purchase snow or all-season, make sure you’re buying 4 tires instead of just 2 since that can be incredibly dangerous.