When you are trying to figure out how to choose winter tires, it can be a challenging occurrence. The questions may start to enter your head like “do I need them” or “do I need studless or studded tires?” Luckily, you do not have to worry about these questions that roam your mind. Why? We have all the answers to help put your mind at ease.
The difficulty with buying snow tires is the fact that there is a lot of factors and money involved in this purchase. But, when you have all your eggs aligned into one basket, you will be well on your way to making a smart, well-educated decision. So, without further ado, let us hop into the world of winter tires, not snow tires because there is a big difference here.
How to Choose the Best Winter Tires: An Ultimate Guide
When deciding on winter tires, you have to walk through why you need them in the first place. The purchase should be no run-of-the-mill decision. This is a big step in adding value to your vehicle.
The Need for Snow Tires
If you are looking to be a safe driver, then you need winter tires. When it comes to snow, sleet, ice, and frozen rain, there is nothing better than winter tires. As temperatures drop below 40 degrees, the need for winter tires is that much more prevalent.
Also, if you travel a lot for work through snow zones, there is an extra need for winter tires. You never know what will happen in the mountains either. Snow can happen at any minute. If you are not ready, you may be caught in the elements or worse.
Knowing the Markings “M+S”
When purchasing tires, some of them may be rated as an “M+S.” The “M” stands for mud, and the “S” stands for snow. With the help of a hefty tread, you can get better traction than other tires that are not rated in the same way.
However, even though they are rated this way, your tires are still not winter tires. In the slickest of conditions, these rated tires do not have the same traction that winter tires have. Even control and stopping can be a real struggle in the winter with rated tires.
There are some rated tires though that are branded as a 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake. These tires have been tested to drive on packed ice and snow. They can handle these elements with ease. You can trust them with your life.
Difference Between All-Season and Winter Tires
When you are looking to buy new tires, you need to understand the differences between all-season and winter tires. When it comes to all-season tires, the product includes ribs, grooves, lugs, and sipes. But, on the other hand, winter tires come with studs, ribs, grooves, lugs, and sipes. All these attributes make winter tires that much better.
Another difference between winter and all-season tires involves the kinds of compounds that are used. All-season tires use a stiff rubber compound. When it comes to hot pavements, all-season tires do a great job of keeping their shape.
Alternatively, winter tires use hydrophilic technology. This makes them better in winter weather. With the help of more rubber, snow and ice are handled with ease.
Shopping for Winter Tires
Now, that you have an idea of why you need winter tires, let us talk about the shopping process, shall we? When to shop is a great place to start.
As you look to buy winter tires, start the process earlier rather than later. Of course, it would not be fun if you are dealing with this process when it is snow outside right before your eyes. Installing winter tires before cold weather begins will give you great peace of mind.
Additionally, make sure that you are getting snow tires. All-season and winter tires look eerily similar to one another. Checking the sidewall of a tire can give you ultimate clarity. You should see an inscription with a snowflake to give the difference between winter tires and all-season ones.
Pros & Cons of Studded Tires
Ice can be a scary thing to pass on with any vehicle. However, when you have studded tires added to your winter tires, they could make all the difference in your life. When it comes to studded tires, they can help lock into the ice. This will give you a better grip on the roadways.
Unfortunately, there are some cons to studded tires as well, just like anything else on planet Earth. If you have studded winter tires, they can start to be obnoxious when hitting dry asphalt. The pavement will get damaged in the process, too.
This might not seem like a big deal, but when it is your driveway, you will have to pay a pretty penny to put in new concrete around your home. In some states, studs are even illegal to use, so check where you live for more important details.
When buying winter tires, look to see if the company you are buying them from will bundle installation into the price. If you can handle installation on your own, then be my guest.
But, a professional install can save you money during the process. Look for verified reviews of tire shops to see which one is best here. Do not take any shortcuts during this step.
With all the information you have been given, you are now ready to decide on winter tires. Remember to start the process early, so you are not getting stressed when the weather changes and you have not come to a solution for the right winter tires. No matter what you decide, do your best to find a solution that fits you and your vehicle. Then, you will feel safe and in control wherever you roam during the wintertime. Stay safe and enjoy your new winter tires!