The Car Coach: All season tires
Many of today's vehicles leave the factory with all-season tires. While all-season tires are intended to provide traction in a wide variety of weather conditions, they don’t offer the best traction when you drive in snow or ice. Lauren Fix, the Car Coach, has a closer look.
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If you compare the difference between all-season tires and winter/snow tires by evaluating acceleration, stopping and cornering capabilities, you can tell there is a huge difference which will affect your safety on the road.
So, who needs winter tires?
If you drive in snow or on ice 2-3 times a year, then it makes sense to use a winter tire. The right tire changes everything.
Many drivers think that that if their vehicle has 4WD (or AWD) that it delivers great traction and does not need winter tires. This is false. These systems do provide optimized traction over rear-wheel drive and front-wheel drive vehicles but provide minimal traction in diagonal handling and braking situations during snow and ice conditions.
With winter tires, you can feel the difference. Winter tires afford your car improved levels of traction during all maneuvers, including acceleration, braking, and handling.
The cost of winter tires is generally equivalent, if not less, than replacement tires on the vehicle. The goal is to optimize tire performance in treacherous driving conditions with the benefit of added safety.
The perception that winter tires are not as durable as other tires is also false; the rubber is different, but comparable in durability.
What should I look for in a winter tire?
Tires marked with the mountain snowflake symbol meet or exceed industry requirements, and have been designed specifically for use in cold weather and severe snow conditions. Also look for a tire with a 40,000 mile warranty.
Winter tires combine responsive handling with the ability to grip through snow and ice. Their rubber compounds remain flexible in cold temperatures while their tread designs bite through snow and ice, as well as maintain excellent wet and dry road traction.
Winter driving...ice and snow...slipping and sliding...dings and dents. While today's ABS, traction control and stability systems maintain vehicle control, they are programmed to limit a vehicle's mobility to the traction available from its tires. With months of winter driving ahead, don't let all-season tires hold you back. Wouldn't you rather drive on winter/snow tires to help reduce travel times, tension and stress?