Winter Tires vs All Seasons. What you Need to Know
Winter Tires vs. All Seasons
Increased Safety Makes Winter Tires Worth the Cost to Change
As the temperature drops, we turn our attention to thoughts of cozy blankets and fireside cocoa. But knowing that months of cold weather are ahead also means it’s time to begin winterizing preparations. Such as getting the shovels and cold-weather gear out of storage, buying road salt, stocking up on firewood, and prepping you vehicle.
But vehicle prep goes beyond just checking your battery, lights, and antifreeze and washer fluid levels. One important task that helps to combat the treacherous road conditions that come along with the snow-laden months is the use of winter tires. These specially designed tires utilize sophisticated tread designs and are composed of more flexible rubber compounds, resulting in improved performance in cold-weather conditions. And as we all know, our Canadian winters do a great job of delivering these conditions. With another frigid winter on the horizon, it’s essential to be prepared.
It’s a proven fact that winter tires offer improved safety over all-season tires through better handling, braking, cornering, and traction. A 2016 University of Michigan study found that stopping-distance performance of winter tires on packed snow is typically about 35% shorter than all-season tires. And 50% shorter than summer tires.
While it seems obvious these tires perform better on snow and ice, it’s also been found that winter tires improve traction and handling on cold roads. Even when snow and ice aren’t present. It’s been found that AWD/4WD vehicles need snow tires just like their 2WD counterparts. Don’t be over confident if you are driving a 4×4 with All Seasons you’re good to go once snow falls.
The 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol is only included on tires that pass a minimum required performance level on snow. You may also see an M+S (mud & snow) designation. While these tires perform better in the snow than regular tires, they do not need to pass a test in order to receive this designation. The true winter tires have both the 3PMSF and M+S symbols, so be sure your options have these ratings.
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