Winter tires are a must, especially when you live in a very cold and snowy climate like the one we have in the Chicago area. The last thing you want is to be stuck and stranded in the snow when the temperatures are quickly dropping. Although many people may risk it and attempt to last the whole season without winter tires, if you live in a region like ours that sees temperatures regularly dip below 45° F, then you can’t go without them.
What Are Winter Tires
Winter tires have special, softer rubber compounds and tread designs that help them maintain grip under various extreme weather conditions in which standard tires don’t perform well. The goal of winter tires is to increase the range of conditions in which you can safely drive your vehicle. They do this by providing increased traction when normal, non-winter tires would slip more easily.
Even all season tires are not the safest option for winter driving. Brand new all season tires can provide reasonable traction during the winter, but their performance is roughly equivalent to half worn winter tires. Half worn all season tires, on the other hand, are unsuitable for winter driving in snow and on icy roads, because they simply won’t provide enough traction.
Despite all the technological advancements allowing tire manufacturers to improve the cold weather performance of all season tires, a dedicated winter tire is specifically designed for these tasks. It’s the right tool for the job when it comes to cold, icy, snowy winters.
Winter Tires Not Snow Tires
There is a common misconception that you only need winter tires in the snow. However, the primary benefit of winter tires is that they are made out of softer rubbers, meaning they maintain better traction in colder temperatures. That means that winter tires help your vehicle grip the road better in all types of weather and conditions, including wet pavement, slush, ice, snow, or even cold, dry pavement.
Winter tires, as the name implies, are just for winter. These types of tires are not suitable for summer or warm weather driving, because their softer rubber and more open tread pattern will wear rapidly when temperatures climb above 40 degrees regularly. So, when the temperatures start to rise, be sure to swap out your winter tires for summer or all season tires.
Why Your Car Needs Winter Tires
Many car owners neglect to purchase proper winter tires, because they feel safe with their four wheel or all wheel drive car. But while having all four tires turning helps get your car moving forward, it doesn’t help much when it comes to stopping.
Stopping power on slippery surfaces is almost completely due to the traction provided by your tires. Dedicated winter tires massively outperform all season tires in cold weather. Tests conducted by Tire Rack saw a 35% improvement in braking when using winter tires compared to standard all season tires.
The Cost of Winter Tires
One of the biggest reasons why people don’t invest in winter tires is the cost. But when compared to the cost of an insurance deductible, or the possibility that a good set of winter tires might be the difference between life and death in an accident, the tires make good sense. In addition, using winter tires for a portion of the year prolongs the life of your other, three season tires that are on your car the rest of the time.
If you want to increase your car’s traction and stay safe this winter, then purchase the winter tires you need from HEART Certified Auto Care. We’ll even store your all season tires in the winter and winter tires during the rest of the year.
Contact HEART Certified Auto Care today.