Winter is practically here, which means you need to get your vehicle ready to take on cold, harsh driving conditions. As part of your preparation, install a sound set of tires. While a reliable towing service can help you recover from tire failure and other mishaps on icy, snow-covered roads, having winter tires may help you avoid these situations altogether. Here’s why you need them.
How Different Tires Vary
Many drivers assume all tires are more or less the same, but they’re mistaken. Depending on the climate and the season, there are different optimal tires for your vehicle. Winter, summer, and all-season tires may serve the same purpose—keeping you safe on the road—but they differ in terms of handling and performance. It all boils down to the type of rubber and design.
For instance, summer tires have soft rubber compounds that make them work well during warm weather. Since they have larger tread blocks and patterns with fewer grooves, they offer more contact and grip on the road for traction. However, once temperatures start dropping below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, they perform poorly because they harden.
Winter tires have a rubber formulation that remains pliable at significantly lower temperatures. When it’s cold out, they provide much-needed grip and traction on the pavement during colder weather. They also have deeper tread patterns and a series of thin cuts on the treads called sipes, which help to improve vehicle handling in snow.
All-season tires, on the other hand, can handle wet and dry roads in all seasons, even with light snow. However, they don’t perform as well in freezing temperatures as their specialized counterparts since the rubber is designed to stay flexible in a broader range of temperatures.
Why It’s Crucial to Get All Four Winter Tires
When switching to winter tires, replace all four instead of two. If you only change the tires on either the front or rear axle, you run the risk of accidents and the need for a towing service. Your vehicle would only have half the grip and traction, which may result in skidding or losing control on slick pavement.
Remember to change winter tires to summer or all-season tires once it’s warmer outside—higher than 45 degrees. That way, you avoid wearing them out quickly. Since they are softer and have more contact with the road’s surface, their treads lose depth faster in the heat. Before you know it, you may need towing services for a flat winter tire.
If you get into an accident this winter, turn to Engel’s Auto Service & Towing. Serving motorists throughout Cincinnati, OH, they’ve provided auto towing and collision repair services since 1966. They’re available 24/7, which means you can get prompt assistance when you need it. Call (513) 385-8246 for emergency towing services, or visit them online today.