The season for buying winter tires is once again upon us. Whether you are buying for the first time or you need to replace your old winter tires, you need to know what to look out for before committing to that big buy.
Below are a few of the biggest things to look out for as you prepare your automobile for the harsh, winter season. You’ll want to consider your budget and the level of grip you’ll need.
Know your tire size
Don’t make the mistake of choosing the wrong snow tire for your automobile. Luckily, finding the right winter tires isn’t that complicated. The proper tire size for your automobile will be either embossed on the side of the tire and on a sticker in the door frame.
The second option can be a little trickier. Depending on the age of your vehicle, that sticker could have worn/peeled off. If for some reason you cannot find the embossed tire size, contact your vehicle’s manufacturer to learn the exact tire size you should choose.
What type of tire do you need?
In some regions of the country, you won’t need a full winter tire. You might be able to get by with all-season tires, if your area gets little to know snow. Make sure you consultant your mechanic to find out what is recommended for your area.
There are ways to find out if a tire is actually made for winter conditions. The three-peak mountain snowflake logo displayed on the side of a tire indicates the tire is indeed a winter tire. All-season tires and the like are not the same as winter tires. Ensure you spot the logo before investing in a new set of tires.
Studded or performance?
Depending on where you live, you will need to choose between a studded or performance winter tire. Studded winter tires feature metal studs built into the tire’s tread; when the tires rotate, the metal pieces actually stick into the ice to give your vehicle traction. These are a life saver in harsher climates, but they also damage highway pavement (this is why some places allow them for only certain times of the year).
If you typically have to drive on sheets of ice in the most extreme winter climate, a studded winter tire may be worthy of a consideration. If you need this option, check with local highway laws to learn when these tires can be driven.
For everyone else, performance winter tires should suffice. Designed to grip the snow and the layer of water that quickly accumulates in the footprint of the tire, these tires will keep you straight and steady on the road. Snow tires are also made from a unique compound that keeps the rubber of the tire soft while ensuring it never stops properly gripping.
Keep in mind you need to buy a set of winter tires, not just a front or back set. Yes, snow tires are expensive, but that’s because they’re specialized tires that could save your life. They also have a built-in seasonal demand. But you can make them last. Take extra care of them during the winter: don’t drive too fast, slam your brakes too hard and ensure they’re properly inflated. Do this and your winter tires should last four-to-five years.
Need the best in winter tires? Contact GM Outlet Parts to learn about our genuine auto parts. The best part of all? We offer affordable and quick ground shipping. Call now, and let’s prepare your vehicle for winter!