Advice on Choosing Winter Tires

Your choice of tire will be influenced by a number of factors, especially when it comes to finding suitable tires for winter months. All-season tires tend to stiffen and lose their grip in sub-zero conditions, so it is important to change them for a tire better equipped for this kind of weather (unless you live in an area that only has small amounts of snow). There are a few factors that must be taken into consideration when choosing winter tires.

Before choosing tires you should firstly check the manual for specification on types of tires that are suitable for a particular vehicle. Do not use bigger tires than those recommended in the manual, as this will often make steering difficult. Also bear in mind that when changing from all-season tires to winter tires, it is usually best to replace all four tires at the same time with the same size and type of tire.

There are certain tires specifically designed to handle winter ice and snow, where they will perform in low temperature conditions as opposed to standard tires. These tires will be clearly labelled with a peaked mountain and snowflake symbol. In order to give better winter performance, the tread on snow tires will usually be softer which provides a greater grip in snowy or icy conditions, but will wear quickly in warmer weather.

Some winter tires are designed to accept the installation of metal studs for additional traction on icy surfaces, though use of these studs in limited and prohibited in some states due to increased road wear. However, it is also possible to avoid studs by purchasing tires made from special rubber compounds that not only handle ice and slow, but also cold and wet conditions. There are many winter tire options to suit your particular needs.

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