We all hear a lot of questions regarding winter tires. One famous question regarding this is, “Do I even need winter tires for my ride?” This article will be discussing facts and analogies with regards to winter tires and all-season tires as well.
Are Winter Tires Needed?
There are many factors involving this inquiry. The main thing that we may need to consider is weather temperature. If snow or winter temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, it is well advised that you purchase a set of four winter tires. If you are residing in an area that rarely snows or does not snow at all, you may utilize a set of all-season tires.
The Difference Between All-Season Tires and Winter Tires
Typically dry roads, wet roads and light snow conditions are handled and built for all-season tires. Ice, snow, and slush where low temperature or low weather conditions are present, are in this case handled by winter or snow tires. Hardening of the tread of all-season tires would eventually occur during very low temperature conditions. On the other hand, winter tires are made with a special synthetic rubber compound which stays pliable and durable in very cold weather, hence, leading to better grip on the road when braking in these extreme conditions.
All-Wheel Drive and Four-wheel Drive Automobiles
It does not mean that if you possess an all-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive vehicle that you would think that winter tires would not be a necessity. Four-wheel drives and all-wheel drive cars improve traction by sending additional energy or power to all the wheels of your vehicle, instead of just two. However, traction would become a great factor when low temperature or very cold weather conditions come into place. It is still suggested by professionals that you have winter tires installed on these kinds of vehicles during extreme weather conditions.
If I am on a budget, would it be safe and possible for me to just buy and utilize two winter tires instead of purchasing a whole set?
Some people would think that it is already sufficient to use just two winter tires instead of four and simply compensate by driving more carefully. As advised, winter tires should always be installed as a whole set, regardless if you have a rear-wheel drive or front-wheel drive vehicle. Using two different kinds of season tires on your car would be quite dangerous as the front and rear tires would not be able to coordinate and function properly with the other two. For your safety and the safety of your passengers as well (not to mention others out on the roads), it is recommended that you utilize four winter tires to have more traction and grip on the roads’ surface. In addition to this, if you have 2 different sets of tires, those tires would definitely not wear evenly or properly.
The Mountain/Snowflake, M+S, M/S, M&S, and MS Symbols
A lot of people know that these symbols above mean the same. What initially comes into their mind is that the tire is also usable for snowy and extreme conditions. What these symbols actually want to inform is that you have an all-season tire that has been approved to be used on mud and light snow by the Rubber Manufacturers Association. Hence, using these types of tires would still be dangerous in extremely cold weather conditions, especially blizzards. On the other hand, the mountain/snowflake symbol that you would see in a certain tire, would indicate that it has been approved by the Rubber Manufacturers Association for severe snow, and extremely cold weather conditions. It would provide much better traction for your automobile when driving in the cold.
Using Your Winter Tires All Year Round
As recommended by professionals regarding this matter, we should not use our winter tires during the summer or warmer weather conditions. The effect on the tire is that the softer rubber compound or material would wear out much quicker and faster. The rubber material in all-season tires are built and designed better for warm and normal climates. Keep in mind that all tires vary in price range. It depends on the durability, thickness, thread, and of course, the given brand name.
Again, if you are unsure which tires best suit you, your vehicle, and the given climate conditions, it is best that you contact your local tire dealership, conduct online research and read reviews of the tires you prefer. You might also choose to seek professional advice before making that purchase.
It’s not just the brand alone. You must also investigate the quality that each brand represents. A few popular brands which are known for high quality and durability are Bridgestone, Michelin, Continental, Good Year, Pirelli, Sumitomo Tire, Hankook, and Yokohama. Of course, the price of these tires will be higher than other brands not as well known. But when it comes to safety, the lowest price should never be your ultimate goal.
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