5 Winter Tire Myths
You’ve probably heard a lot of myths flying around about winter tires. We’re here to clear the air and explain the truth behind winter tires and why they’re important for those of us in New England and other wintry areas.
1) “Winter tires are only for snow.”
False! Winter tires start to benefit you, the driver, even when the temperatures drop, before the snow falls. In colder temperatures, all-season tires stiffen, which reduces their grip on the road. The rubber compounds and other components that make up winter tires keep them flexible in temperatures below 45°F (7°C). Tire flexibility allows for better vehicle handling and stopping.
2) “Brakes alone stop my vehicle.”
Wrong! Brakes and tires greatly affect your vehicle’s stopping distance. Especially when roads are slick, tires without specifically designed winter tread patterns can simply slide when the brakes are applied. Winter tires have deep grooves and small slits called “sipes” that cut through snow and ice, keeping more of your tire in contact with the road.
3) “My all-season tires work fine in the winter.”
All-season tires are great for mild weather changes, but anyone who experiences cooler winters can get better performance with winter tires. In addition to having flexible compounds and specialized tread designs, winter tires help make your all-season tires last longer: while the winter ones are on, the all-season ones aren’t wearing down.
4) “Winter tires are more expensive.”
Another cruel false statement! Winter tire prices are comparable to any other tire out there. Another bonus – switching between your all-season or summer tires and the winter tires will give both sets more longevity.
5) “I have four-wheel drive so I don’t need winter tires.”
Ever see SUVs on the side of the road when the weather’s bad? They probably don’t have winter tires. In the winter, four-wheel drive can help you get going but won’t help when you’re trying to stop. Four-wheel drive helps you control the tires, but that doesn’t mean much if the tires themselves aren’t flexible enough or don’t have the right tread design to push snow and ice out of their way.
Tires are your only four points of contact with the road. The more they touch the road, the safer they are. Winter tires make all the difference in colder temperatures and in snowy, icy conditions. Visit us at one of our three locations, or give us a call to discuss your new set of winter tires (603)-689-1851.