Do Snow Tires make that much of a difference?
Yes. Once you drive through a winter with proper snow tires you will never drive another winter without them.
What makes snow tires different from regular tires?
Snow tires have tread patterns specifically designed to give better traction in the ice and snow, 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. (Regular tires tend to get hard and brittle in cold temperatures.) Grip is critical — not just to avoid getting stuck, but to ensure that the car can stop and steer. Life-saving safety technologies such as antilock brakes (ABS), electronic stability (ESP) and all-wheel-drive cannot do their jobs if the tires can’t maintain their grip on the road surface.
My car has all-season tires. Aren’t those good enough?
Not really, no. All-season tires are designed for 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. Think of all-season tires as sneakers and snow tires as heavy-duty snow boots. It is possible to walk down a snowy, icy sidewalk wearing sneakers — but it’s a lot easier and safer to do it with proper snow boots.
Can I put snow tires on just the drive wheels of my car?
Putting just two snow tires on your car is a bad idea. If you have a front-wheel-drive car and put snow tires on the front only, the back wheels won’t have anywhere near as much grip as the front wheels. This will make the car much more likely to spin out while braking or cornering. Likewise, if you put snow tires on the just back wheels of a rear-wheel-drive car, the wheels that do the steering won’t grip as well as those that provide the power, so the car may not respond when the steering wheel is turned — it will simply plow straight ahead. Always install snow tires as a full set of four.
Can I leave my snow tires on all year?
You can, but it’s not a good idea. Snow tires tend to be a bit noisier, and will wear down faster in the warmer weather. Wear is critical, because winter tires rely on their deep tread to dig into snow and ice.
As soon as the snow is gone for good, remove your snow tires and reinstall your regular tires. As a result of using snow tires in the winter you don’t need to stick with the all-season tires that came with your car for the rest of the year — you can choose a “summer” tire that will provide better handling, better traction in the rain, and a smoother, quieter ride.
How do I change from summer to winter tires?
You can purchase a complete set of winter tires with black steel rims or aluminum wheels or you can just get winter tires and put them on your factory wheels. It is much easier and more cost effective to change over a complete set with a second set of wheels as no special tools are required.
What is the cost of snow tires?
The cost totally depends on your vehicle. On the average we can get you a brand new winter package with aluminum wheels for around $1500 or with steel wheels for around $850. We also have a huge selection of used winter packages to select from starting at $400. Contact us for details.
Having snow tires is cheap insurance for your car in the winter. You will feel safer and more confident leaving the house and your summer tires will last longer. Give us a call today and let us help you make your winter driving safer.
View our current SNOW TIRE INVENTORY and see if we have a set for you.
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