New technologies allowed the scientists to design winter tires which provide safe traction and handling in the worst possible weather – in snow, ice, wet weather conditions.
Winter tires are so popular and necessary in cold season because of their rubber compounds which remain flexible in cold temperatures. Also they provide improved safety margin and stopping power in comparison with other types of tires.
Don’t wait for the First Snowfall
Researches show that most of us wait for the first heavy snowfall and only then install winter tires. To be sure you are ready for any weather conditions install winter tires in Fall. The precise period is different for different regions – from October till early November. But in general we recommend to put winter tires on when the temperature drops to 7 degrees C. in any case it is very important to change summer tires as the first snowfall with its low temperature, when ice is almost water is extremely dangerous. This is when you need the most traction between the road and the tires. Summer tires under these conditions start to harden and lose their road-holding ability.
Two or Four?
Use four winter tires, don’t mix their types. You should keep in mind, that your car’s ability to maneuver, brake and accelerate directly depends on similarity of the tread depth, tire design and type of rubber compound.
Check Your Tires Condition
Measure the tread depth of the tires. It should be at least 4.8mm to drive through snow properly. Remember that all-season tires are worn out very quickly and you should replace them every 1-2 seasons. Winter tires have deeper tread and as you use them only in winter month they’ll preserve their efficiency for 2-3 winters.
Be Careful with SUVs
The ability of these cars to accelerate on slippery road surface is, of course, their great advantage. However very often it turns into the greatest drawback. Feeling false security, many motorist drive very fast and neglect to install four good winter tires, considering them absolutely unnecessary for this type of vehicle. Keep in mind that, since SUVs are heavier than other cars, their braking distance is much longer. To be out of danger be careful and use 4 ice + snow tires with your SUV.
Other Winter Tips
* If, driving through a lot of snow, you suddenly feel the vibration of the steering wheel or car’s floor, remove the snow accumulated on the wheels inboard and outboard. The vibration should stop.
* If you made up your mind to use all-seasons tires instead of winter ones, make sure that you have chosen really good tires. The standards for these tires are usually not very strict. All tires of this tire bear the “M + S” (mud and snow) label, however some of them are suitable for winter conditions even less than summer tires.
* When you are buying a car and the seller tells you that it is equipped with all-seasons tire, check whether there is a “M + S” label on the sidewall of each tire, before drive the vehicle on the snowy or icy surface. Such cars as BMW, Honda Accord EXI, Prelude, Mercedes, Volvo and many others usually come with summer tires. In cold weather the rubber on these tires becomes as hard as plastic and provides little or no friction on the slippery road.
Be careful and attentive and your travel along winter roads will be pleasant in any weather.