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A Guide on How to Buy Winter Tires


When winter comes, all drivers think of getting the best tires that will have their car run smoothly. It becomes difficult for those who use all-seasons tires to understand that they have to change their vehicle tires to winter tires. So why are they called all season if they cannot serve in all seasons? Some people may think that there is no need to buy this new set of specialized tires, but it is essential. 

Other drivers think that having a four-wheel drive can save them from buying tires meant for the winter season, but this is not the case. They will not give you the traction you need when the road is too slippery or give you an easy time applying brakes on the ice. This write-up will provide you with a clear guide on buying winter tires.

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  • What Is The Role Of Tires?

The main work of a tire is to maintain the vehicle in control and on the road. A vehicle can move on any tire, be it summer, winter or all-season. However, their expediency is classified into three categories: tread pattern, depth pattern, and the tread compound. All three types of tires have different tread patterns. 

Best winter tires have enough tread depth to ensure they cut through the snow as you drive. Their tread pattern is also optimized to give low traction. A winter tire is designed with a specific molecular level to remain soft and grippy as temp fluctuates. Some drivers opt for two winter tires, but it is safer to have the four installed. This will give your car to perform best during winter. 

  • Studded or High-performance Winter Tires; Which One?

Studded tires have an embedment of metal studs in their tread, and they dig into the ice better than ordinary tires. The challenge comes when driving on pavement-like roads. The same way these tires dig into soft rocks or ice the same they would dig into pavements, which leads to them damaging the road. 

However, the two kinds of winter- tires are high-performance and studless. If you drive every day, no matter the weather outside, you can choose to go for a studless tire for winter, which is quite an aggressive type. Performance tire would be best for you if you prefer driving on cold roads. Studless tires pride themselves of extreme ice and snow traction, and they are not picky on the road’s texture. 

The winter compound they are made of provides the traction. They also grip on both snow and thin waters that accumulate on the tire's footprint. Performance tires work best in warmer climates. They have a high-speed rating, and they feel good to drive on. 

  • Size

Before deciding on a tire, you have to check the size. You can check the current tires' size or get the exact size of your tires from the user's manual to know the best size of tires suitable for your car. Also, note that having a smaller size of wheels on ice prevents you from stuck. Small-sized wheels also have less resistance to snow because there is less of it to cut through. With wider tires, you will likely float on the snow rather than pushing it aside. When the floating happens a lot, the tire loses traction. 

  • Tire Pressure

The commended tire pressure for the best winter tires equals that of the standard tires. There is a handy placard on the door jamb that will show you the amount of pressure your tires should have. Your user's manual also has this information. Sometimes it is advisable to make the tire pressure slightly high as this will fight fluctuations of the pressure. 

  • The Tradeoff

A tire that is manufactured mainly to withstand heat cannot work well in winter. This is why you cannot use summer tires in winter and why winter season tires cannot withstand a hot climate. Therefore, it is essential to consider tires that are meant specifically for specific season. Keeping the summer tires or all-weather tires during the winter season will only give you less service and make your vehicle inefficient in most cases. So, why not call a mechanic to replace them with appropriate winter tires?