Now that summer is over and it continues to get colder, some are plagued with questions as to how their “sporty” vehicle will handle the frigid temperatures and more importantly the ice and snow that follows. Due to todays economic distress, many are forced to rely on one vehicle year round. Unfortunately not everyone has the same taste in transportation. While it may be acceptable to have a truck or SUV for some, others prefer the sportiness and handling of a roadster or performance vehicle. But what about winter? Is there a way to still be able to carve up mountain roads and still drive the vehicle through slush? Yes, and the answer lies in the type of tires you use.
Snow tires or winter tires are different than regular tires. They have tread patterns specifically designed to dig down and bite into snow and ice, plus they are made from softer rubber compounds that retain their flexibility in cold weather, allowing the tire to better conform to the surface of the road. Whereas regular tires tend to get hard and brittle in cold temperatures. As a result, winter tires keep a better grip on snowy and icy surfaces than regular all-season or summer tires. Grip is critical, in not just to avoid getting stuck, but to ensure that the car can stop and steer. Life-saving safety technologies such as antilock brakes, electronic stability control and all-wheel-drive cannot do their jobs if the tires can't maintain their grip on the road surface. What about all-season tires? Could I just use those all year round? Yes and no. All-season or all weather tires are designed to cope with all sorts of conditions, including dry roads and rain, but are not optimized for any one condition. They are generally made from harder materials that don't conform to the road surface as well in low temperatures. While it may work, it just won’t work as well. Think of all-season tires as sneakers and snow tires as heavy-duty snow boots. It is possible to...
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