Winter driving - The Pleasure and The Pain

Driving the roads after fresh snow has fallen, where the roads  have been cleared by snow plows working through the night, it's like driving on a freshly groomed ski hill. Trees now fully covered in white fluff and flake. The cool crisp air. A fresh cup of joe or hot coco steaming inside the cab of your vehicle. Everyone and everything is safe and sound..... or is it?
 
Peace of mind and winter driving do go hand in hand. A set of winter tires are designed to perform well in icy conditions and sustain consistent traction on and in the snow therefore heightening ones winter driving experience.
 
Some tires are for Ice & Snow
With so many products on the market we suddenly become inundated with TV commercials showing off the greatest attributes their tire brand has to offer. The truth is there are a lot of tire brands to consider. There are different quality of tires available on the market today and quite honestly tire quality is not always reflected in the price.  One tire manufacturer uses walnut shells to create traction. There are directional tires, symmetrical tires and asymmetrical tires. All offering different levels of traction and driving experience, like sipes and grooves. Tire lingo is good to read up on.
Some tires are for Ice & Snow and handle most climates and sudden temperature changes  without any concern for lack of traction and grip. 
 
Even the most basic of snow tires is better than driving on an all season tires especially on ice and through snow. After all any tire sold in the Canadian tire market must adhere to pass certain laws and tests. Usually a less expensive tire means it's going to wear out quicker. 
 
Snow tires start to work at 7 degrees celsius. 
That means the snow tires start to grip and perform as snow tires are designed to perform. Snow tires are made up of a different rubber compound than all season tires.  Winter tires heat up quicker and are softer when they reach optimum temperature. 
 
One discussion that never falls short of opinion is whether or not 2 tires are as effective and safe as 4. 
 
4 tires are safer than 2 tires
The short answer is 4 tires are safer than 2 tires. Yet not everyone has a budget to afford 4 snow tires. So if you only purchased 2 tires where are they best served? Or another way to ask that question is " Where are my 2 snow tires going to provide me the best traction thus providing my family and I safest drive front point A to point B?
 
Anytime a client wants to install 2 tires, the general rule of thumb and consensus is that we don't put them on the drive tires. Why? If you put a set of snow tires on the front of a front wheel drive vehicle, you will then have extra traction which can now feel very secure until you lose even a bit of control at low speeds and you suddenly realize the lack of traction as the rear of the vehicle swings out a bit. Imagine having all of that traction on the front tires and as you loose control those front tires keep trying to correct the loss of control. Well now you are headed for oversteer, then you have to  now compensate the steering wheel and by now you are likely out of control. 
Now rotate those snow tires to the back of the vehicle and all of sudden the control is noticeably safer feeling because the rear tires are sustaining traction offering the driver an opportunity to correct the steering and continue a safe drive.  
 
Drive safe, give yourself extra time in winter to reach your destination. Have 4 snow tires installed on your vehicle and be safe. Your best winter driving defence is to slow down and enjoy the winter landscape.
Categories: Parts, Service