Question: What is the benefit of winter tires?
Express Car Care Answer: This is a really good question. Most new vehicles in Denver come with all-season tires that work pretty well in winter conditions that many drivers may encounter. First, let’s talk about the things that dedicated winter tires do really well, we’ll touch on all-season tires, and then you should have enough information to help you in your tire selection.
The first thing to take into account about winter is fairly obvious, it’s cold. The rubber compound used in summer and all-season tires gets a bit hard when the temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit or 7 degrees Centigrade. Winter tires, on the other hand, stay more pliable when the thermometer takes a dip. This means better dry road traction in the cold.
Ice and snow is the next thing drivers need to consider during the winter. Some drivers live where there is a lot of snow, a lot of the time. Extreme winter condition snow tires have a tread design that cuts into and expels deep snow for maximum traction. These tires have a mountain and snowflake icon on the sidewall of the tire.
If you live in an area where the ice and snow are more moderate, you can still benefit from having winter tires. Their tread has many small “cuts” called sipes that really help them get a grip on ice.
Now, all-season tires are a year-round compromise between high summer performance and high winter performance. They just don’t perform as well in extreme conditions as the tires that are dedicated to either summer or winter driving. For example, winter tires offer 25% to 50% more traction than all-season tires. And studies have shown that all-season tires can take upwards of 40% longer to stop than winter tires. This could be enough of a difference to prevent getting stuck or getting in an accident.
So what’s the best tire for you? Talk to your service adviser about the conditions you drive in throughout the year and how important performance is to you. For many drivers that put a premium on handling performance, dedicated summer tires in summer and dedicated winter tires in winter are what they need to satisfy their performance needs. Other drivers don’t have that same need and all-season tires work well for them.
Whatever you choose, winter tires or all-season, we are ready to mount them for you, come on in and see us.