Get a grip: Why you need four good snow tires

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

When the ther­mome­ter drops to the point where you can see your breath, it is time to in­stall win­ter tires.

And make sure you put on four snow grips. Ditch the idea that you can en­sure good trac­tion if you have two good win­ter tires on the driv­ing wheels.

In fact, this ar­range­ment can be dan­ger­ous. If you have snow grips on a front-wheel drive ve­hi­cle and a dif­fer­ent set on the back, the rear end will be­come un­sta­ble when cor­ner­ing or when en­coun­ter­ing black ice. All-sea­son tires are not a solution when road sur­faces are freez­ing. Al­though they may have snow and mud rat­ings, four-sea­son treads are not geared for the snow and ice we must con­tend with in this part of the world.

Win­ter tires are specif­i­cally made to han­dle snow and ice. For one thing, snow doesn’t stick in the grooves of a win­ter tire.

Snow grips are made of ma­te­ri­als that ad­here more tightly to the road sur­face dur­ing cold con­di­tions than sum­mer or all-sea­son treads.

Many stud­ies un­der­line the ef­fec­tive­ness of snow grips. On all ve­hi­cles, win­ter tires greatly de­crease brak­ing dis­tances. One study showed that win­ter tires can re­duce your stop­ping dis­tance by up to 25 per cent, or be­tween two to three car lengths.

Ve­hi­cle han­dling will be im­proved when tires of the same type, size, speed rat­ing and load in­dex are in­stalled on all four wheels.

View a demon­stra­tion video by vis­it­ing http://www.rub­beras­so­ci­a­tion.ca/win­ter­tire-videos/win­ter­tire­v­ideos.html

Tires marked with the pic­to­graph of a peaked moun­tain with a snowflake meet spe­cific snow trac­tion per­for­mance re­quire­ments and have been de­signed specif­i­cally for use in se­vere snow con­di­tions.

Wide, high per­for­mance tires, other than those that are specif­i­cally de­signed as snow tires, are not suit­able for use on snow cov­ered roads. As a tire wears, snow trac­tion is re­duced. Tires that are worn close to the tread-wear in­di­ca­tors have re­duced trac­tion and should not be used on snow-cov­ered roads or in se­vere snow con­di­tions.

Proper air pres­sure ex­tends tread life, im­proves safety and re­duces fuel con­sump­tion.

AD­JUST­MENTS RE­QUIRED: Win­ter means that driv­ers must ad­just their habits. Even though road sur­faces may seem to be dry and safe, an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of “black ice” can bring a trip to an un­ex­pected and po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous, stop

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