Snow Tires; How they Work and Why You Should Have Them
It may only be September 12th, but the snow that fell on many areas of Colorado this morning should be a reminder that winter is on the way; it isn’t too soon to start thinking about snow tires. Snow tires make winter driving significantly safer and less stressful. If you don’t already own snow tires, now is a good time to start shopping. If you have snow tires stored in your garage or shed, give them a quick check to make sure that they aren’t too worn or too old.
Why Snow Tires Are So Important
Simply put, snow tires are the cheapest insurance you can buy to keep yourself, your family, and other drives safe on the road during the winter. Think about it, your tires are the only contact point your car has with the road. It doesn’t matter if your car has four wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or two wheel drive; if the tires can’t grip your car isn’t going anywhere. Or worse, if your tires won’t grip, your car won’t stop. If you have walked on ice or snow you know how slippery it can be; heck, most of us spend the winter sliding down the stuff on skis and snowboards. Remember that the snow can be just as slippery on the road as it is in your car. And having a car with AWD or a big SUV is no excuse to forgo winter tires, every car has four wheel stop after all. Don’t risk ruining your vehicle or hurting someone, play it safe and run snow tires this winter.
How Many Snow Tires You Need
It is best to run snow tires on all four wheels. While it may be tempting to save some cash and pick up snow tires just for the wheels that drive your vehicle it is safest to run a full set of winter tires. This way the car will feel balanced and offer the best protection from accidents.
Options that Eliminate the Need for Snow Tires
Unfortunately, snow tires are irreplaceable. Traction control and ABS are terrific safety features but they cannot replace snow tires. Traction control works to prevent wheel spin, but it does not create extra traction. It’s a similar story with ABS, the system prevents tires from locking up under heavy braking but does not mimic the effects of snow tires.
While snow tires do offer a more aggressive tread pattern, much of the added grip is gained by using a softer compound of rubber. When temperatures get very cold the rubber used to make standard tires becomes hard and more prone to losing traction. The softer compound of snow tires remains flexible and grippy in the cold. It is for this reason that snow tires are beneficial in the winter even if the road is not covered with snow. Additionally, snow tires feature an aggressive tread pattern that bit into snow to give superior grip. The science of winter tires goes much deeper than this, but many of snow tire’s unique features can be seen just by looking.
Let Fisher Provide the Snow Tires
Have peace of mind this winter with a quality set of snow tires. No expense is too high for the safety of you and your family, but you might be surprised to see how affordable snow tires can be. Drive safe this winter.