Do you really need winter tires?
At a time when it seems everyone is trying to sell you something you don’t need, you might be forgiven for thinking that winter tires are an added expense you can do without. However, there are many benefits to purchasing and installing winter tires on your vehicle. Drastically improving stopping distances and handling, they could save you from the costs and frustration of a collision, and maybe even save your life.
“While tires are an oversight for many drivers, they are the only part of your vehicle that actually comes in contact with the road,” explains Michael Bettencourt, managing editor at autoTRADER.ca. “Once people experience how much of an improvement winter tires make to traction, braking and handling, they are converted.”
Below are a few tips, according to the experts:
Get a grip.
The tread patterns and composition of summer and most all-season tires are best suited to warmer temperatures. Once the mercury drops to 7⁰C and below, they become less effective on cold pavement, snow and ice. Much like a hockey puck on an ice rink, the colder it gets, the less traction they have. Winter tires are designed with more aggressive tread patterns and are composed of a softer, more pliable compound, providing improved traction on cold and slippery surfaces.
All-wheel drive is not a replacement for winter tires.
There is a common misconception that having power at all four wheels is a replacement for quality tires, and can even provide a false sense of confidence. Having all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive capability may provide added traction when accelerating in certain conditions, but when it comes to cornering or braking, it’s all about the grip where the rubber meets the road.
False sense of savings.
The initial cost for a new set of quality winter tires can be a tough pill to swallow, but if they are kept properly inflated and stored in a dry place, you’ll get twice the mileage out of them before they need replacing.
Find more information at www.autotrader.ca.