Are you driving on the right tires? Winter is quickly approaching. Have you resisted putting winter tires on your car because you have heard they aren’t necessary or as good as all seasons? Here is my list of the top 5 commonly held mistruths about winter tires.
Myth Number 1: Snow tires have better tread than all seasons.
Truth: The most important factor in winter tires is not the tread, it’s the rubber. Winter tires are manufactured using softer rubber which is designed to keep its stickiness in cold temperatures. This helps the tires to remain soft and flexible in cold temperatures. Summer and all-season tires become stiffer and lose flexibility as temperatures approach freezing which can drastically reduce handing.
Myth Number 2: All winter tires are the same
Truth: Premium winter tires are made from better rubber compounds and have better tread designs. They will last longer and stop quicker. Toyo adds pieces of walnut shell to improve their winter tires grip.
Myth Number 3: Winter tires have no bearing on breaking distance
Winter tires are designed to maintain their flexibility and gripping power even in the most demanding wet, icy conditions. Winter tires improve stopping and breaking distance in poor weather conditions because the tires are better able to deal with sloppy road conditions.
Myth Number 4: Winter tires are expensive
Truth: There is no doubt purchasing a second set of tires for your vehicle can be costly. However, using the right tires for the right season, will extend the longevity of both your summer and winter tires. I purchased a second set of used alloy rims for my car and have my summer tiers on one set and my winter tires on the second set.
Myth Number 5: You only need two winter tires
Truth: This myth seems to have taken hold in the days when cars were mostly rear wheel drive. I remember my parents having two winter tires for their 1969 Chevy Impala. It is not safe to mix tires. Modern automobiles are designed to have matching tires, be it summer or winter. Mixing tires can give lead to uneven traction and increase your stopping distance.
Please consider these factors when driving this winter. Choosing the right tires for winter driving conditions can improve winter driving safety. With the right tires, you will be better equipped to stop safely all winter long.