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Many people don’t start to think about whether or not they need snow tires until the first snow—and because the first snow often falls between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s a good idea to plan ahead.
“Fall is a good time to stop in to see what your options are,” says Pfefferle Tire store owner Steve Pfefferle. “That way you can be prepared with the right snow tires before the busy holiday time sets in.”
Every state in the US except California, Florida, Hawaii, and Louisana gets at least some snow in an average year. Average yearly snowfall amounts range from less than an inch in states like Arizona and Georgia to 123 inches in New York.
Did you know that New York gets more snow on average than Anchorage, Alaska, which gets about 74.5 inches each year?
Mars even gets some snow, according to National Geographic.
That means most of us, even those of us with travel plans to Mars, need to think about what tires we want to use this winter.
There are three main types of snow tires:
1. All-Season Tires. All-season tires are designed to work on dry, wet, and snowy roads, and last longer than snow tires. However, traction in snow and rain isn’t as good as that of snow tires. If you do all of your driving in temperate areas with little snow and few hills, all-season tires can be a good option.
2. Snow Tires. Snow tires are made of a softer rubber compound and special tread patterns that provide more grip in fresh and packed snow. Also, if your area is prone to cold winter rain, snow tires reduce the risk of hydroplaning because they have more area with small tread, allowing water to escape from the tire more easily. Because snow tires wear out more quickly than all-season tires due to the softer rubber composition, they are not usually used year-round except in the coldest climes.
3. Studded Snow Tires. These snow tires have metal studs added to the tire for improved traction in snow and ice. Keep in mind, however, that studded snow tires are noisy on dry pavement and are illegal in some states or during some months. The additional level of security, however, can make it worth the need to change out the tires more frequently.
What kind of roads will you be driving on this winter? If you will be driving on hills, snow tires can make it easier to navigate the changing grades.
What are your travel plans this winter? If you will be traveling through snowy patches of the country, snow tires could make the trip safer and more enjoyable.
One questions that is often asked is, “Are two snow tires enough?” Most professionals recommend that snow tires are put on all four wheels for maximum safety and effectiveness. If you only buy two, however, it’s important that they are put on the rear wheels to make sure the back of the car has proper traction, even if the car has front-wheel drive. If snow tires are only put on the front wheels of the car, the front of the car will have more traction that the rear, making it more likely to spin out while braking or cornering.
Snow Tires Can’t Do It All
Stopping in the winter involves more than your tires. Make sure that your brakes are in good condition. Check tire pressure as the temperature changes; tire pressure drops as the temperature drops, and under-pressurized tires do not provide optimal traction. And drive with care--snow tires help, but even with the best tires it can take longer to stop in snowy and icy conditions. Leave extra distance between your car and the car in front of you to give you time to react should a problem occur.
Pfefferle Tire and Automotive Service is a two generation, family owned and operated repair shop. Our services include quick lube service, tires and auto repair, and routine maintenance. What sets us apart from other shops? Our technicians do not work on commission, so there is no need for them to oversell. We like to say, "We advise and you decide!"
Contact Pfefferle Tire and Auto Service to schedule your preventive maintenance appointment! (513) 829-1900
Written on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 by pfefferle
We are a certified dealer for MICHELIN®, BFGoodrich® and Uniroyal® Tires