Advantages of Winter Tires:
- The tread design and tread compounds of winter tires are manufactured to perform specifically in cold, winter conditions. The tread design features high sipe density for better traction. Sipes are razor-thin grooves within the tread create additional “biting” edges to grip the winter roads. Wide circumferential grooves help to channel snow, ice, slush or water away from the tire’s surface allowing for better contact between the tire and the road. The tread compounds are engineered to allow for optimal performance of the tire when the temperature drops below 45 degrees. Today’s high performance winter tires also provide excellent traction on cold, dry roads as well as a quiet, comfortable ride.
- Even if your vehicle is equipped with traction control or ABS braking, winter tires are still beneficial. These electronic driver aids help to prevent wheel spin caused by overpowering the vehicle and prevent your brakes from locking up due to over braking. While these systems will help you drive safely, they do not increase your traction. The only thing that will increase the traction of your vehicle is your tires.
- Installing winter tires will also extend the life of your summer tires. Changing out your wheels for the winter months will also protect your original equipment or aftermarket alloy wheels from the harsh winter elements that cause deterioration.
- Some winter tires are designed to allow for the installation of studs which are small metal pins that get inserted into the tread. Studs provide increased traction in icy conditions. Studded snow tires are not legal in all areas, so it’s a good idea to check with your state or municipality before installing them.
- It is also a good idea to keep a set of snow chains in your vehicle when traveling. Some states require chains when passing certain roads during the winter season. Check your state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) website for requirements.
Why Should I purchase my winter tires in a set of four?
To maintain the safety, control and traction of your vehicle, it is recommended to install winter tires in sets of four as opposed to only replacing one or two. This is true for all vehicles – front wheel, rear wheel and all wheel drive applications. Mixing winter tires and all-season tires on the same vehicle causes the front and rear axles to have unequal traction and control. That seriously impacts the safety and handling capability of the vehicle, especially in emergency situations. Matching all four tires on your vehicle helps to ensure dependable and consistent traction, control and safety.
Note: Remember to change back to your all-season or summer tires when the cold temperatures come to an end. Using your winter tires in warm, dry conditions can cause them to wear out prematurely.