Snow Tires versus All-weather Tires
For everyone, winter is best known for the snow that it brings. The sight of the first
snowflake flowing, is the first signal that everything will eventually turn white and
fuzzy. Many will contend snow is a wonderful sight to behold, unless you are a driver.
Snow causes roads to get slippery. Slippery roads means less traction for car tires,
which makes roads even more dangerous. With less friction between the road surface
and the car's tires spins outs, fishtails or the ability to stop can occur in the regular
performance of your car. This particular fact has made accidents more likely to happen
during the winter than the summer season.
Markedly decreased traction is also caused by tires that freeze during winter. Because
outdoor temperatures can go well below freezing, the tires usually follow suit. Since
regular tires will be stiffer than they usually are, less of the tire's surface gets into
contact with the road surface, thereby decreasing traction even further.
Snow Tires Versus All-Weather:
Snow tires have a smaller tread, which makes water pass through the tire more easily,
thus preventing hydroplaning on wet surfaces. This allows the car's tires to provide
greater traction compared to all-weather tires, which have bigger, wider treads and
thus are not optimally suited for snow-covered surfaces.
Moreover, snow tires are much softer than regular, all-weather tires, making them
more resistant to freezing temperatures. Their rubber composition is modified to
achieve this effect. Because tires are softer, a larger part of it gets into contact with the
road surface, thus increasing traction.
The story doesn't end there. Snow tires must also be inflated to the appropriate
pressure to maximize friction and minimize wear and tear. Most drivers are familiar
with how much pressure they should have on their tires, but very few are well-versed
with how pressure and temperature affect each other.
As temperature falls, a car's tire pressure also follows suit. Gases inside the tires loose
volume when they are exposed to lower temperatures, thus causing the pressure that
they exert on a car tire's walls to go down too. Thus, it is important to check tire
pressure as often as you can, especially since Ontario winter temperatures can vary
As a side note, it is also worthy to note that checking a car's all-wheel (or 4-wheel)
drive is a good idea, if your car has one. A car's AWD can come in handy during extreme
situations where the roads are hopelessly slippery. Checking your car's AWD even
before the winter season comes will allow you to ensure that you can rely on that AWD
feature if and when you need it.
Snow-covered roads are usually sprinkled with generous amounts of road salt to keep
the roads clear of ice . The downside of this practice is that road salt may come in
contact with a car's metal parts, which will then catalyze the rusting process, it is wise
that the undercarriage be treated for weatherproofing that will reduce salt damage.
Are you and your car ready for winter?
Visit our used cars section and download Free Comprehensive guide on Winterizing
your vehicle. For more information visit our Ontario used cars dealership today.