With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, you’ve probably already started thinking about your holiday travel plans, but have you given any thought to your vehicle’s tires?
Wintertime places unique demands on automobile tires and, depending on where your holiday travels will take you, it may be a good idea to switch to winter tires before taking to the highways.
Winter tires are specifically designed to perform well when the ambient temperature is 45 degrees and lower, and are far safer than all-season tires when it comes to navigating through snow and ice.
All-season tires are constructed of a rubber compound that hardens in temperatures below 45 degrees. This hardening causes the tires to lose traction, which adversely affects steering and braking.
Winter tires contain special silica compounds which help them remain more pliable and provides better grip when driving in colder temperatures. Winter tires typically provide between 25 percent and 50 percent better traction than all-season tires when the mercury drops below 45 degrees.
All-season tires also allow snow and ice to become compacted in their grooves and tread blocks. In addition to their specialized grooves and tread blocks, winter tires also feature “sipes”, which are tiny interlocking grooves that increase their grip.
Discount Tire’s Assistant Vice President Marketing and Product Development Mark Marrufo says, “Every aspect of a winter tire has been engineered to provide the best performance in winter conditions and temperature fluctuations while maintaining traction on any surface. The winter tire advantage will maximize your safety and provide piece of mind during the winter months.”
Here are some tire tips to ensure you make it safely to your destination this Thanksgiving holiday.
If traveling in areas where the temperature is expected to be 45 degrees or below, replace your all-season tires with a good set of winter tires.
Check your tire pressure frequently. Over- or under-inflated tires can adversely affect steering and braking, and result in uneven tread wear. Under-inflated tires can also decrease your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Have your tires rotated every 6,000 miles or sooner if uneven tread wear is detected.