Winter Tires or Snow Tires?
Winter is here...
Did you remember about changing tires as your car slid across the road? Or were trying to get out of a ditch? Now's the time to switch to winter tires!
It's winter time and the first snow has fallen across different parts of the U.S. If you're in the South or West coast, you don't have to worry too much about the snow.
Winter tires and snow tires are synonymous at this point. Snow tire was the terminology used first and eventually winter tire took over. Tire companies no longer offer a "snow tire" product, they simply go by winter tire. So in reality, there is no difference between winter tires and snow tires.
Winter tires have a softer rubber compound that is more pliable which provides more grip in colder weather. The tire tread is composed of many "ribs," these ribs are the raised portions that span the circumference of a tire. The tread blocks are designed to dig into the snow and throw it back out as the wheel rotates.
Another part of the tire called sipes, these sipes are especially important in snowy and icy weather. The sipes are the razor-thin slits in the rubber that when turning become micro-pumps to deliver traction on the ice.
While shopping for winter tires, make sure to look for the three-peak mountain and snowflake symbol molded into the sidewall. The Rubber Manufacturers Association issues these symbols. It identifies tires that meet required performance in snow testing.
If don't have winter tires, don't worry. There is still plenty of winter weather to come so you will get full usage out of them. When you do get new tires make sure that you get four tires to maximize safety and performance.