During winter, it is vital to ensure that a vehicle’s tires are in good condition and is safe to drive in poor and potentially dangerous driving conditions. One important decision you should make is buying winter tires. If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, you cannot just settle with all season tires as this may cost you your life. New advances in technology have helped create winter tires that offer traction and handling safety in wet winter conditions. This is especially helpful in areas where the use of tie chains and studded winter tires are illegal.
In buying new tires for the winter, there are few things that you need to consider. One is purchasing separate rims for your snow tires. Initially, this may seem like a very costly decision but in the long run, it will save you time and money of involved in balancing you new set of tires to your existing rims. When you change from summer tires to the winter tire, you will have to spend for the balancing and installation of your tires. They are usually charged per tire, so it means you will need to spend a bit more. Not only that, you will have to make the same expense again when switching back from the winter to the summer tires. If you know how to install the tires and your tires have their own separate rims, you can install them yourself. That will give you big savings. You might also want to consider purchasing a full winter package. You can check with you local store to see if they have this kind of deals. When you purchase such package, balancing is already free.
As with any other tires, winter tires should be carefully selected to meet the technical characteristics of your vehicle. Be sure to read your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specifications including tire size, speed rating, load index and installation instructions. It is strongly recommended that you install four winter tires especially if you are driving a four-wheel drive vehicle. If you only plan to install 2 winter tires, make sure to have them installed in the rear position for the best lateral control. Remember not to use tires of different size, tread patterns and wear. Using mismatched tires will cause handling problems.
To ensure you are well prepared, do not wait too long on having your winter tires installed. Do not wait for the last minute, as this will greatly affect your mobility. Early winter storms could hit and cause a hot demand for winter tires that might cause a shortage in specific locations. You do not want to put yourself in compromising situations. Most of all be extra careful in driving. The damp and slippery roads could lead to accidents anytime.