If you plan to drive in winter conditions, yes, you do need real winter tires. Most places have strict regulations regarding this, as it is not safe to drive without proper winter tires when it is freezing outside. Tires that are not approved for winter conditions will not perform well, as the rubber gets too hard when the temperature drops. This means that you don’t get any traction from them and your can glide on the slippery surface.
Winter tires are designed to handle slippery surfaces and come in studded or non studded tires options. You will be able to maneuver through snow, slush and ice when you drive with these tires on your car. Without winter tires, leave the car home as it is not safe and in many places not even legal to try to drive.
As the name indicates, snow tires are to be used for winter conditions. This type of tire is also referred to as winter tires. Winter tires are designed for winter use and allow you to safely drive on snow and other winter surfaces in a safe manner. It is not safe to drive with a tire that is not designed for winter use when the weather has shifted to winter weather. So if you find yourself in a situation where the driving surface has shifted to a slippery surface, then you should refrain from driving any further if you don’t have dedicated winter tires on your car. With a tire that is not designed for this surface, it will not be able to gain any traction and there’s a big risk that you will glide of the road or into something.
With a tire that has been designed for winter conditions, you will be able to have traction. If the winter tire is a studded tires, then you will have metal studs protruding from the tread creating traction, or you can have a non-studded tire which can also be called as studdless tire, where the tread design will create the needed traction. The tread design on a winter tire that doesn’t have studs will have small deeper grooves and sipes towards the edges of the tire to create the necessary traction.
As temperatures start to drop, it is time to update our summer or all season tires with dedicated winter tires that are designed with the harsh winter weather in mind. They will remain soft as the mercury goes south and not start getting hard or brittle which a tire designed for warmer weather would.
Here are a few things to look for when you buy winter tires.
Look for the snowflake in a mountain with 3 tops symbol-this ensures that the tire is officially approved for winter use
Select studded or stud-less (non-studded) tires
Look for a high quality winter tires, there is no reason to skimp on quality for a tire that can save your life
Make sure that the tire producer has good track record of producing winter tires
Select the correct tire size that fits your car
If you mount a good quality winter tire, then you will be able to safely maneuver through challenging winter conditions. You will be able to have great traction on slippery surfaces and the treads will be able to push away any snow and slush from the streets, to ensure good traction. You still need to remember to drive cautiously; winter weather is no game, not even for seasoned professionals.
To answer this question, it is good to first explain what a studded tire is. A studded tire is a winter tire that will have small metal studs integrated into the tread, so that they protrude and create extra grip on slippery surfaces. The rubber compound in the tire is designed for winter temperatures, so that it will stay soft and flexible for the winter weather.
A good quality tire will make sure that the position of these studs are optimal, that the studs have the optimal length both to give you best grip, but also to ensure a smooth and comfortable ride.
Quality is key
I don’t think it can be emphasized enough how important it is to have a high quality winter tire, when you drive on slippery surfaces. Where a misstep could lead to an accident. Where you rely on the ultimate grip to ensure that you can get your car to stop when you need to brake. The high quality means that there have been a lot of investments into research and testing to ensure the best performance on all winter surfaces.
If you have selected a good quality studded tires, then they will perform better than any other tire when it comes to slippery surfaces. Ice and tightly packed snow are always tricky to drive on, so here you will benefit of extra traction. The metal studs will provide that for you.
As you hear both words snow and winter, you might believe that these are different tires, but this is not the case. The US talks more about snow tires, due to historical reasons, while in Europe we mainly just talk about winter tires. In any case you have snow during winter, so they are included in the conditions for which a winter tire is designed to work.
If a tire has a snowflake symbol within a mountaintop with three peaks, that means that the tire has been officially tested and approved for winter driving. They will provide you with enough traction and grip for you to drive on snow and ice. Nowadays you can choose from having studded or studless (non-studded) tires for your vehicle. Winter tires perform on more winter conditions than just snow; it will perform well on ice and slush in addition to snow.
As the name indicates, they should be used for the winter season and then changed to summer or all-season tires, once the winter has passed. This ensures that you have great tires all year around.
So from now on, you can update your vocabulary andstart calling them for winter tires instead of snow tires, in contrast from your summer tires. So next time you need a pair, go searching for a set of winter tires.
An SUV is made for driving on almost any type of surface or weather conditions despite the fact that most SUVs are used for normal driving, within cities or when commuting to work, and few actually take advantage of the superior driving ability it has. When the winter arrives, also the SUV needs to be fitted with appropriate SUV winter tires to ensure that it can deliver the best and safest experience during the cold weather season.
Check that the tires on your SUV have the mountaintop with a snowflake symbol on the sidewall to indicate that they have been tested to perform well on snow and ice. If your tires don’t have that symbol, then you need to make sure that you change to dedicated winter tires before the winter arrives. Driving with summer tires, and sometimes even with all-season tires during the winter can be dangerous, if you live in an area with very harsh winter weather. The rubber in the summer tires will become hard in cold winter weather and will not be able to give you the traction that you need to have.
Fitting winter tires on your SUVs, trucks or other large vehicles will give you great road traction, handling, and grip on snow and ice. You have the option of purchasing either studded or non-studded tires. They are both great for winter conditions, but the studded tires do give you more traction especially on ice due to the metal studs.
Here’s what to look for to get the best winter tires for your SUV:
Good quality winter tires, that have been tested and approved for harsh winter conditions
Good winter properties regardless if they are studded or non-studded (studdless)
Great grip on snow and ice
Short brake distance
Ability to avoid hydroplaning through ability to push away snow and slush
If you’ve got all these things in the tire you are looking for to purchase, you are getting good tires for your SUV. Make sure to follow local laws and regulations that apply to winter tires in your area. Make sure to change tires in time before the first snow comes.
Although non-studded tires don’t have the metal studs, which the studded tires have, they still provide us drivers with excellent traction in winter conditions. In winter conditions when you don’t have icy as a major factor, non-studded tires will give you enough traction during wet, dry and snowy conditions. They can be mounted earlier than studded tires, due to most local regulations are stricter on the dates of mounting studded winter tires. This means that you can mount them already during fall and be ready for when the winter comes. As we all know, it is very difficult to predict when the change will take place between fall and winter. Often you will have winter conditions for a week or two, which will then disappear and fall weather will return before the final winter weather reaches us.
If you are very dependent on your car for every day use, then it is safer to change earlier to winter tires, to avoid any weather surprise. It can be very frustrating to be in a situation waking up with the ground covered in snow and you still have your summer tires on your car. A benefit of non-studded winter tires is that after you have mounted them, you are prepared for rapid changing road and weather situations by the approaching cold season.
If the roads you drive on in wintertime tend to be icier than snowy, studded tires could be better alternative for you. Drivers, who live in areas that tend to be icy during winters, may want to go for studded tires as they give better traction during winter.
It is not only pure ice that can cause challenges, also tightly packed ice will cause problems and here the studded tires are superior for achieving traction. Packed snow will occur in snowy areas with a lot of traffic, where no sand has been applied. Studded tires perform better than non-studded winter tires on wet ice and hard-packed snow.
Studded and non-studded winter tires are both designed for winter conditions. The characteristics of your winter conditions and your driving style will determine which you should choose, but both will be a good choice during the winter that you will face.
Many folks that drive well during the summertime months might still have major challenges with the onset of winter. Here are some of the key aspects that you need to take into consideration when the winter season starts.
Make the right tire selection. Depending on the winter conditions that you will face, you need to make your tire selection. For winter driving, winter tires are always to be preferred. You have the studded or the non-studded choice. They have some differences but in the end, the choice of non-studded tires and studded winter tires depends on your preference.
Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas pedal slowly to accelerate is the correct approach for regaining traction and fending off skids. Take time to gradual slow down for a stoplight and remember that the brake distance is increased.
Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Quick transitions between, stopping, turning, accelerating, will need time, so don’t be in a hurry. Give yourself time to maneuver and drive slowly.
Keep your distance. The regular rule of safe distance to car in front of three to four seconds must be extended to 8 to ten seconds. This improved margin of protection will provide the sufficient distance needed to stop your car in winter conditions.
Know your brakes. Whether you have got antilock brakes or not, the first-class way to stop is threshold braking, where you make sure that the brakes don’t lock, so just enough pressure for them not to lock.
Managing up and down hills. Try to get a little inertia going before you attack the hill and let that motion carry you there if possible, otherwise apply enough pressure on the gas pedal while making sure that you don’t loose traction. Avoid stopping if possible, as starting from a halt trying to go up is challenging and you will need to slowly get the traction and slowly accelerate from there. When going downhill try to use the gears to slow down the vehicle if you have a manual transmission.
Practice your winter driving. Skills are acquired through practice, so try to practice winter driving, cornering, braking on ice and snow to ensure that you are ready for the winter driving conditions.
All-season, or all-climate tires as they’re often referred to, were evolved for particular regions with mild climates characterized by light winters, making them ideal for use in areas with shifting weather and without extreme winters. All-season tires are designed to give drivers a confident, secure driving all year round without the need to changing tires twice a year.
The principal advantage with all-season tires is that you will avoid the hassle and effort of changing tires twice a year. In regions in which the winters are harsh and snow and ice is an ordinary occurrence, a proper winter tire is important. You also avoid the surprise wake up realizing it is winter outside and you still have your summer tires on your car. All-season tires are easy to control while cornering and they provide good traction both in wet and dry situations. On wet roads, the specially designed blocks ensure swift water evacuation, decreasing the danger of hydroplaning.
Drivers that have all-season tires do not have to worry if cold weather hits. A large amount of sipings in these tires help the tread bite the surface of the road to provide grip in freezing conditions for assured handling and braking on the ice, frozen and snowy roads. However, proper winter tires are to be preferred when you drive on very icy and snowy conditions, as they provide much better tractions to ensure you stay safe on the road and that you can quickly halt your car in case you need to stop. Dedicated winter tires are marked with the alpine symbol meaning that they have been officially approved for winter conditions and can be safely used sparsely in harsh conditions. The better quality of tires you select, the better performance throughout the year you will have, which might be critical during the winter season.
Buying a new car is easy as you focus on the exerior and the interior elements of the car and maybe inspect the engine’s performance as well. However, buying the right tires for your car can be a challenging task especially if you do not know much about them, as they look quite similar.
While searching for tires, you can look at the sidewall of your current tires for the alphanumeric characters containing combination that looks something like this: P205/60R16 94T
The “P” stands for passenger tire, 255 is the width of the tyre in mm, 60 is the height to width ratio, R denotes radial construction and 16 is the rim diameter in inches. The part which says 94, refers to how much weight each tire can lift. And then we have the speed rating T, which refers to the maximum speed in relation to load index.
There are several types of tires from which you can choose the one that is suitable for you. All-season tires are known for their good grip and long mileage. These are usually delivered in mainstream cars. They come in S & T speed rating. High performance all-season tires come in H and V speed rating. Ultra-high-performance all-season tires are designed for sports cars and performance vehicles. Dedicated summer tires are an ideal option for warmer seasons if you use winter tires for the colder seasons. A summer tire would not have a Mud & Snow traction. They come in W and Y speed rating.
Winter/snow tires are easily identified by a mountain or snowflake symbol and the M&S (Mud&Snow) marking displayed on the sidewall of the tire.
Off-road tires are the type of tires that can handle anything from rugged to soft surfaces, like deep mud, rocks and sand, better than any other tire.
Finally, the last things to consider after you’ve selected the size and type of different tires, are the cost of the tire versus the performance. In other words, this part involves selecting the perfect tire out of a selection of good tires.