Prepare your car for the winter season

winter tires

Driving during the winter is naturally challenging as the snow and ice make it very difficult if you are not properly prepared for it. With the right tire selection, you can make it much easier. You need to have good quality snow and winter tires with either stud or without, depending on the area where you live. Studs perform better on ice than those without studs, while they are equally good on snow and slush. You should always make sure that you have the winter tires mounted well before the winter weather arrives. It is important to understand that the all-season tires are not any good when you have winter weather, and they are therefore not approved for winter use.

There are two main reasons why driving in winter conditions with all-season tires is dangerous. The rubber compound used in all-season tires is not designed for the low winter temperatures.  When the temperature drops below 45°F, the rubber turns hard and loses its flexibility. This reduces the tires’ friction when the rubber is pressed into the road surfaces microcavities. This increases the friction and gives you great grip, but when this disappears due to the hardness prevents the rubber from being pressed into the cavities, you lose a lot of friction. This grip that you need comes from this friction when driving in winter conditions.  The second reason is that the tread on all-season tires is not designed to handle snow, ice, and slush, making them very dangerous to drive with as they don’t have the fundamentals to handle winter conditions.

Studded tires use metal studs that protrude from the tread to create enough grip on ice, and they use a unique tread design for ensuring that you have a good grip and traction on snow. With snow, the snow mustn’t get stuck in the tread and start building up snow layers like a rolling snowball. So the grooves have to be wide enough and shaped accordingly to prevent this. The same goes for avoiding slushplaning. The non-studded tires use a similar tread design, but they also add features, design patterns, and grip particles to create grip on ice, as they don’t have the studs that studded tires have.

It is important that you plan the tire change well in advance so that you are prepared and don’t try to drive with all-season tires when you have winter conditions. The timely tire change is really important so that you don’t start the winter season with an accident that could have been avoided if you had changed tires. Having professionals doing the tire change for you can be very convenient, but it can also add a safety aspect as you have professionals doing it. They will also check your tires and make sure that they are in good condition before mounting them. They will also change the tire valves, balance the tires, and ensure that the tire pressure is good before you drive away.

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