The right time to put on winter tires is essential to road safety and making sure you’re getting the most out of your tires – but when exactly is that?
There are many differing opinions on the matter, but when the summer air disappears and a cool chill gives way to an upcoming winter, the though creeps into everyone’s mind.
Winter tires are made with a low temperature resistant rubber compound and have deep treads that grip snow, ice and other conditions under your wheels. All-season tires, even though they might be marketed differently, are generally not the best option for heavy snow conditions and should be avoided in favour of winter tires.
Why do you need winter tires?
Without a solid grip on the snow, most of your car’s safety functions, such as all-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes, can’t function properly, so ensuring you have great tires is tantamount to safety.
Winter tires also come in a studded form with more traction. Adding just 100 studs to the base of your tires will make for a safer ride on ice, but the use of studded tires isn’t always allowed in certain locations due to the damage they cause on clear roads – so a quality winter tire might be a better option.
Even if your car only has two-wheel drive, you should put snow tires on every wheel of your vehicle to ensure maximum safety and tread. Putting them only on the front wheels of a front-wheel drive car can cause your car to spinout or result in much less effective steering capabilities in a rear-wheel drive car. Spend the extra money on all four wheels and your car and passengers will thank you for a safer, more comfortable ride!
When exactly should you change them?
Unfortunately, there’s no right or wrong answer on this one – mainly because different areas are hit by heavy weather conditions at different times and at different levels of severity.
Try to plan to change your tires when the weather worsens, but make sure you don’t wait too long. The earlier you change to winter tires, the less waiting at the garage you’ll have to do and the more prepared you’ll be. Better to have them on sooner rather than later and wake up to a few feet of snow on the ground and your car stuck in a snow bank!
But that doesn’t mean you should leave your winter tires on year-round, as switching between all-season and winter tires effectively can extend the life of your tires and ensure the safest ride possible. It’s also best to put winter tires on another set of rims, which will save you tons of time when you need to change them. This will ensure your summer tires stay nice and clean and they will last you on average twice as long as they would if you kept them on year-round.
Considering that winter tires can save your life in a dangerous winter weather situation, it would be good if you save some space for them at your garage storage. A little hassle twice a year is a minor annoyance for a good cause!
Jeffrey Wallace is a travel and automobile lover. He loves exploring different places and shares his travel experiances through his blogs. Also he is a keen automobile enthusiast with a passion for vintage. He also writes about automobiles, their maintenance and reviews for the latest ones on road. He can be followed on twitter @Jeffrey05206236