Whether you change to winter tires or stick with all-weather tires, call on the Wichita auto care pros at Tracy’s Automotive when it’s time to buy new tires or have your old tires serviced.
You got up extra early this morning to get some things done before taking the kids to story time. Because you got up so early, there was a slight chill in the air before it warmed up for the day. But that slight chill reminded you that cold winter temperatures are almost here and that you should switch your tires from all-weather (also called all season) to winter tires (also called snow tires).
It’s not a chore you’re looking forward to and you’re wondering if switching tires really does make a difference in your car’s handling during cold weather.
The short answer is yes. The type of tires does make a difference.
Tire manufacturer Bridgestone notes the characteristics that makes winter tires so good in cold weather:
- “The Tread Rubber – In extreme cold temperatures, the tread rubber of an all season or summer tire stiffens and becomes less able to provide sufficient traction. To combat this, tread rubber compounds of winter tires are designed to remain flexible, allowing the tire to grip the road better.
- “The Tread Depth and Patterns – A unique feature of winter tires is deeper tread depths and unique tread patterns. Deeper tread depths reduce snow buildup and provide better traction on the snow. Winter tire tread patterns are designed to channel snow and slush and expel water.
- “Biting Edges – Winter tires also feature an increased number of biting edges and high sipe densities, or in other words, thousands of tiny slits in the tread that provide traction on ice.”
Bridgestone concludes, “The solution to the winter or snow tires vs. all-season tires question will depend on where you live and the conditions in which you drive.
“If you only see a few snow flurries each year and slick, icy roads are more of a fluke than an annual ordeal, all-season tires are probably the way to go. But if you know there’s a period when icy roads are always an issue, mounting winter tires isn’t an over-the-top precaution – it’s an essential safety measure that could save your life.
“When mounting winter tires for the season, always install a full set. Just changing out the front tires increases the likelihood that the rear tires will skid. Likewise, just putting snow tires on the rear wheels could cause the front tires to lose traction and make it impossible to steer your vehicle.
“And remember to re-mount those all-season tires when spring rolls around. While winter tires are undeniably superior in extreme winter conditions, they’ll wear down faster on warm, dry pavement.”
One thing remains constant whether you stick with all-weather tires or switch to winter tires – make sure they’re in good shape. Keep them properly inflated. Check them regularly for cracks or wear.
If you need help deciding whether to switch, or choosing new tires, or maintaining the ones you have, see the Wichita auto care pros at Tracy’s Automotive.
Tracy’s passion for a better tire buying, auto care and auto repair experience drove us to develop the model of Tracy’s Automotive Tire Pros. Tracy’s has turned hard work and inspiration into a booming tire and auto repair provider. Now Tracy’s has three locations and serves customers all over Wichita and Goddard. Tracy’s is thrilled to be a part of your family’s trusted brands for all auto repair and tire needs.
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