Choosing the right tires for winter weather can help your vehicle to perform at its best in potentially hazardous conditions. If you don't already have all-season or snow tires, here are a few things to take into consideration as you begin shopping for winter tires.
Pick The Right Size
When choosing tires for your car, it's important to find the model that fits your wheel size. Your local tire shop can help you to find the right fit for your car. You'll also want to make sure that the tires are the correct width for your vehicle. Purchasing tires that are too big can result in difficulty steering, accelerating, and braking, all of which are critical during extreme weather conditions.
Select The Appropriate Tread
The tread on the tires you choose is important, particularly for winter weather. Snow tires have ribs, grooves, and lugs just like all-season tires, but they may also have small spikes that can help you to gain traction on snow and ice. They also have irregular tread patterns that help to cut through snow so your car can handle better on the road. However, all-season tires carry the benefit of handling well in rain, snow, and a host of other conditions, which makes them a good option if you don't want to invest in a second set of seasonal tires.
Purchase Summer Tires Too
If you plan to buy snow tires, you'll want to make sure that you have a set of tires you can use in the spring and summer months. Snow tires are sometimes made from a softer rubber compound, which means they may not last as long as your regular tires. Have your tire shop check the treads on your existing set to make sure they don't need to be replaced as well. This will prevent you from switching your snow tires for unreliable tires at the end of the season. If you have all-season tires, you won't need to change them at the end of winter.
You may not want to invest money in a second set of tires at all. If this is the case, you can choose instead to have your local tire shop sipe your existing tires. Siping consists of adding unique slits to the lugs on your tires to help create extra traction. This can be done on regular tires, or it can be done to update the tread on an old set of snow tires to prep them for the upcoming winter.
Talk to the staff at your local tire shop for guidance, and use these tips to find the right tire for your car to get you through snow, slushy, and icy conditions this winter.