Winter tires (also referred to as snow tires) are an important component in helping you drive safely if you live in an area that sees a lot of snow, ice, sleet, low temperatures or freezing rain. They can be especially helpful for mountain drives where additional traction is crucial in bad weather.
If you’ve never purchased snow tires before, you might wonder what you should look for in them. We’ve put together a brief buying snow tires guide that you may find useful in your search.
What to look for
Snow tires are typically designated with an icon that features three mountain peaks in the sidewall of a tire. There is often green highlighting above those peaks. When this icon is in place, that means the tires meet the U.S. Department of Transportation’s definition of a snow tire.
You can find snow tires from any of the big-name tire companies. They’ll come in a variety of sizes, so you should make sure you get the right size for your vehicle. Some automakers may include recommendations in their vehicle’s instruction booklets about the specific models of tires you should use in the winter for optimal results.
You may have a car that comes with multiple wheel size options. It’s okay to purchase a smaller wheel than your standard wheel, so long as it falls within the range of wheel acceptability for your model of vehicle.
Narrower tires are often better at cutting through deep snow than wide ones, so a combination of narrow tires and small-diameter wheels could be ideal for your winter driving needs, both in terms of effectiveness and price. Just make sure the dimensions are sufficient so they do not interfere with the operation of your brakes or suspension, and never go smaller than factory tire size. Smaller tires will have less load-carrying capacity, which is critical for vehicle performance, especially in adverse conditions.
While purchasing a separate set of wheels in addition to a separate set of tires does represent an additional expense, it will also provide you some extra convenience. You can keep your winter tires mounted on a spare set of wheels and not have to worry about mounting and unmounting the tires at the start and end of each season. Swapping wheels is a whole lot easier than mounting and unmounting tires, and it’s a job that you can take on in your garage without professional help.
We generally recommend avoiding the use of studded tires. While they do provide more grip and friction in icy weather, they provide bad performance when weather is dry and limit the contact between the rubber and the pavement.
Want to know more about how you can maximize the benefits of winter tires with your vehicle and what you should look for to help you with choosing the best snow tires? Contact the team at S & R Repairs Towing & Recovery Inc. today with any questions you have about our services. We look forward to assisting you soon.
Categorised in: Tires