Why Winter Tires are Such a Good Investment
Those of us living in places where severe winter weather is just a normal way of life are likely to be completely familiar with winter tires and why they make so much sense. But many people who are not so familiar with them still think of winter tires as something you only really need if you're likely to encounter blizzards on a regular basis. However, tire technology has moved on greatly in recent years and the snow tires of yesteryear are now as outdated as a VHS recorder. Modern winter tires are a completely different proposition entirely to the old snow tire, and it's time more of us considered their considerable benefits.
If you could swap between snow and warm weather tires as easily as swapping your hat it wouldn’t be an issue, but changing a set of tires is something most of us wouldn't want to be doing on a daily basis in places where the weather can be changeable. Today's high quality winter tires are completely different as they now perform in dry conditions almost as well as regular all-weather tires, but they also perform on the snow and ice almost as well as regular tires do in the dry. This means you now don't have to change to your regular tires to avoid ruining your winter tires just because you're experiencing a brief warm spell.
The biggest problem with snow tires wasn't how they performed in the snow, but how they performed in other conditions. You see, normal rubber behaves differently when the temperature drops and the softness that provides so much traction normally is lost as the compound hardens in the cold. The key to the success of snow tires was tread rubber designed to excel when the ambient temperature dropped below around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, something tire engineers refer to as "glass transition temperature." As the temperature drops, normal rubber stops being pliable, but snow tire rubber remains supple even at ludicrously cold temperatures. That's great in the snow and ice, but if you encounter some dry conditions along the way, the soft rubber of snow tires can be stripped away in no time, leaving you a hefty bill for purchasing a new set.
It's hard for anyone who hasn't experienced how today's winter tires perform in snow and ice to understand just how liberating they can be. It's no exaggeration to say they make driving in those conditions feel like driving in the dry on regular tires. In fact, the very best winter tires are even said to squeal a little sometimes on glare ice when doing an emergency-style stop. The real beauty of them though, is the fact you've no need to worry if the road dries out. Not only do they not wear out in an instant when they get warm, they also perform nearly as well as a regular all-weather tire will in the dry.
It does need to be stated that only high-quality winter tires are this good, so it's completely false economy to go for cheaper, low-quality versions. So, even though they can cope with dry road conditions, you don't want to be wearing them out when you could be using more durable tires designed for warmer times. Having a tire fitter swap the tires on your wheels each time the winter comes and goes doesn't cost a fortune, but it's far more convenient to have your winter tires already sitting on a spare set of wheels. That way you can fit them yourself if you want to or you can have them fitted in minutes at the garage. If storage and transportation of a spare set of wheels and tires is a problem, some dealers even now offer to storage them for you for a small fee.
To find out more about winter tires, get in touch with the guys at Mel Rapton Honda and find out how much more you could be looking forward to driving in the winter weather in future.