The Gripping Reality About Winter Tires

Winter or snow tires are used in conditions of snow, ice, and consistent temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.  They are composed of soft, rubber compounds and have sipes (small grooves) to increase traction on snow and ice.  A winter tire is identified by a symbol on the sidewall that shows a snowflake on a mountain.

If you decide to buy winter tires, it is recommended that you buy four for the highest level of control and traction.  Using only two winter tires can result in serious handling issues.  Narrow tires are best for driving through snow.  Premium tires are best for highway driving, while a less expensive tire is adequate for city driving. In any case, get the best tires that your budget will allow.

The best times for buying and installing winter tires are at opposite ends of the calendar.  In the spring, stores are clearing out their stocks so there is a good opportunity to get a bargain.  Otherwise, the tires are usually available from mid-October and mid-November.  Waiting until the last minute may mean that the tires will have to be ordered.  Installation should take place when the temperature falls below and stays below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

After you purchase snow tires, take care of them.  While they are on your vehicle, inspect them regularly, and check the tire pressure at least once a month when the tires are cold.  When the temperature stays above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time to remove the tires.  Store the tires flat, off the ground, covered, and out of direct sunlight.

The professionals at Carlson Toyota are ready to assist you when the time comes to purchase winter tires.  From helping you choose the right tires for your vehicle to providing proper installation and alignment, the Carlson Toyota team wants you and your family to be safe in winter weather conditions.


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