Winter tires help provide enhanced traction in some of the most severe weather conditions including ice, slush, freezing rain and snow.
Here are some quick and helpful facts to help you determine whether they are right for you.
Tread Compound & Design: Most winter tires feature specialized tread compounds and advanced tread designs that help provide superior traction and shorter stopping distance. Between all-season and winter tires, winter tires will provide improved braking performance.
Road Conditions: In addition to harsh winter weather, if you encounter many hills or sharp corners in your area, you might want the winter-ready traction and control of winter tires. Additionally, unplowed snow, slush or ice can be a hazard to you when driving, and winter tires help.
Weather Conditions: The general consensus is that if you live in a place where the winter temperature is consistently below 45F/7.2C, or where you drive in challenging winter conditions, winter tires are a good choice.
Performance: When shopping for tires, keep in mind that your vehicle’s starting, stopping and turning abilities ultimately come down to the amount of traction your tires can offer on snowy or icy road surfaces.
Here are a few simple tips and facts that you should keep in mind when driving with winter tires.
To help maintain stability and control of your vehicle in severe snow conditions, the RMA (Rubber Manufacturers Association) recommends installing winter tires in sets of fours to optimize the performance benefits. If winter tires are installed on the front axle of any vehicle, they must also be installed on the rear axle.
Even if you have traction control or four-wheel drive on your vehicle, these features can offer a false sense of security in winter conditions. Traction control/ABS are designed for vehicle stability, power transmission and controlled braking. They do NOT optimize traction or grip during all types of winter driving maneuvers.
The Severe Snow Conditions Symbol located on the sidewall of a tire indicates a tire that meets a snow traction standard recognized by the RMA (Rubber Manufacturers Association). Remember to look for the Severe Snow Conditions Symbol when shopping for winter tires.
Winter tires are not made for year-round use. Keep your winter tires on your vehicle until the driving conditions have improved and the temperature is consistently above 45F/7.2C. Then, replace them with either summer or all-season tires.
Once you have removed your winter tires, you will have to store them for next winter. It is important to keep them in a cool, dry and preferably shaded or dark location. Your vehicle dealership usually will store them for a small annual fee. Since you use only one set at a time, all your tires will last longer, and that cost will be spread out over a longer period. Depending on how much you drive, both sets of tires should last you about five years.
Submitted By Lynn Hill
Lynn Hill is the Vice President of Peterborough Kia, located at 238 Lansdowne Street.
(East of Ashburnham), 705-741-1188, www.PeterboroughKia.ca