It’s that time of year again! Leaves are falling, the temperature is dropping, and drivers are changing to winter tires to get their rides ready for the first snowfall. For many, it is obvious that winter tires provide greater traction and stability, but let’s dig deeper into their importance. Firstly, winter tires work by encompassing a soft, flexible rubber compound and an aggressive tread pattern to bite into ice and snow. Drivers benefit from a noticeable increase in traction during acceleration, significantly shorter stopping distances and a superior stability when driving at speed.
You might think a high tech all-wheel drive system is good enough to get you through the cold season, but does it really help without the proper winter tires? Remember, stability control and anti-lock braking systems don’t give you extra traction; they simply make better use of the traction that is available. The smart thing to do is maximize your investment in all these systems by equipping them with a strong set of winter tires. Did you know that regular all-season tires tense up and get really hard in cold weather? The rubber needs to be soft and hug the asphalt to provide proper traction. Even on dry winter roads, the flexibility of winter tires will work better to keep you safe in temperatures as cold as – 30 °C.
One question that is asked a lot is whether to put on just two winter tires and keep the other ones all season. Don’t even think about it. Having each axle grip differently will either cause you to fishtail uncontrollably or struggle with extreme understeer. It is arguably worse than putting on no winter tires at all! Don’t think that dealers are just trying to get you to buy an extra pair, there are proven facts behind this. Two tires may save you a little money now, but in the long run it’s likely to cost much more. You might still be undecided, but let’s talk about the hidden savings. Swapping in a new set of winter tires will undoubtedly extend the life of your all-seasons. The salt and sand of a dirty winter road can easily damage your alloy wheels and degrade your all-season rubber. The extended tire life can help offset the initial costs of a set of winter tires, and protect your lustrous wheels for the spring. Winter tires are engineered for our safety. They provide superior traction, help you take full advantage of your vehicle’s safety systems and outperform all-seasons in the cold. Don’t be the one who invests in a set after an unfortunate incident, be prepared. Winter is coming.