If you live in a place that rarely gets snow in the winter, congratulations. The rest of us need to endure freezing temperatures and all of the snow Mother Nature throws at us. Now if you do have winters and it snows, it’s almost time for that brave driver who drives at this time of year need to make the necessary preparations for the cold.
The first step in the weather is switching out your all-season tires for winter tires is arguably the most important way to prepare your car for winter. Tires are, after all, the most important safety feature in your car. They’re what allow cars to drive on snowy roads with minimal slipping and sliding. We just never think about what a tire’s job is, our car just does what we think it’s supposed to do, but most of that is translated by the tire. This important equipment needs to be the right type and fit for your car’s best winter tires and their performance.
When exactly should you make the switch to winter tires?
The easy rule of thumb to remember is Thanksgiving to Tax Day, which is late November to mid-April. Of course, with the great diversity of climate we have in this country, the more specific answer is going to be the first day you can see your breath outside, that is the safest bet. That may seem pretty early on in the season, probably before your town has seen a dusting of snow. But winter tires are more than just snow tires. They work more effectively in cold temperatures than all-season tires. In extremely cold temperatures, the rubber in all-season tires stiffens and can’t provide sufficient traction.
The rubber itself (in a winter tire) is different for starters. Next is that it still remains flexible as the temperatures go below zero. It also has elements to work better on wet pavement and snow and ice.” Leaving all-season tires on through the winter season may seem like an easier, cheaper solution for you. Yet the truth is that if you live in an area where extreme winter conditions are the norm, doing so is both bad for your car and raises your risk of getting in an accident, potentially injuring yourself and others.
Don’t use it all year around.
Unfortunately, using snow tires year round isn’t recommended. In the long run, it will cost more money than changing them out and could compromise your vehicle’s performance on the road. That’s why tire makers offer different types of tires for different seasons – the best option for you is determined by many factors including climate, driving style, and performance needs.
Trust us, buying winter tires are worth the investment but use it in the right environment and climate for better-optimized performance and savings.