If you've given up on year-round T-shirt temperatures by moving to a colder climate, you're already aware you'll need to revamp your wardrobe and, perhaps, some of your winter hobbies. But you may not spend much time thinking about your car tires until the first frost hits. For those who aren't accustomed to driving in snow, ice, or freezing rain, this can be quite an adjustment. Investing in tires that are built for these weather conditions can make the transition easier. Read on to learn more about the best tire types for winter driving.
These tires are a must in the parts of the country that measure their annual snowfall in feet or yards rather than inches. Snow tires are designed to provide traction in thick snow, ice, and other tough conditions, and can give your car the ability to power through a mess that could leave other tires skidding.
Snow tires tend to be louder than other types of tires, so many car owners opt to rotate these tires out during the spring, summer, and fall, installing them only after temperatures drop. Others who have either front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive vehicles may put two snow tires on the wheels that spin and leave all-seasons or other tires on the non-spinning wheels. This reduces the noise of snow tires while providing the same traction level as four snow tires.
If you'd rather choose one tire type and stick with it all year, all-seasons may be your best bet. Look for tires that are rated "M+S," which means they're equipped to handle both mud and snow. All-seasons can perform well in inclement weather and aren't as loud as snow tires, making them a good middle-of-the-road option. And because all-seasons can also handle rain, they'll keep you safe during summer thunderstorms and sudden hail.
Checking Your Tread
Regardless of the type of tires you ultimately choose, it's important to check the tread regularly (usually at least once a month, especially in winter) and look for any unusual wear patterns. Any bulges or lumps in your sidewall indicate that your tire has some structural damage and is prone to a sudden blowout, which can be dangerous if roads are slick.
And although there are tools that can precisely measure the amount of tread remaining, one trick is to insert a penny (head down) into the tread. If Lincoln's head is covered, you're good; if his head is exposed, it may be time to get a quote on new tires.
If you're looking for tires for sale, reach out to companies in your area.