How To Get The Right Snow Tires Onto Your Used Vehicle

January 27th, 2016 by

 

Wheel  for  winter Off-Road

 

If you drive one of the many Albany, NY used cars that regularly experiences cold temperatures and withstands yearly snowfall, you may have previously considered getting snow tires for your vehicle. If you have, then that in and of itself is probably a sign that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do so, as having them will only improve your driving ability in the winter.

For those who have never considered snow tires before or who are not sure what they are exactly and how they work, then the world of snow tires can seem confusing and expensive. But in reality snow tires are a useful, often necessary tool for driving safely in cold, snowy, or icy conditions. Here’s a quick look at snow tires and why you should consider getting some for your vehicle.

What Are Snow Tires?

If you ‘ve ever inspected your tires closely, you’ve probably noticed the little grooves and channels within the treads of the tire, called sipes. On regular and all-season tires these are generally smaller and come three or four rows to a tire. These channels help divert water and debris and allow the tire better friction in wet or slippery conditions.

Since snow tires must power through much thicker obstacles – like snow, slush, and ice – the sipes must be much deeper, wider, and more numerous. On an average snow tire, there should be about five rows of sipes with noticeably deep grooves to help divert thick snow and give the tire proper traction on icy roads.

Since snow tires are designed to work best at low temperatures, usually under 45 degrees Fahrenheit, they are often made of softer materials to prevent stiffening in cold weather, and are usually clearly marked as snow tires.

Do I Really Need Snow Tires?

There’s no exact answer, but the best guess is probably. If you live in an area hat is chronically icy or snowy, or which sees months of snowfall each year, then snow tires are probably the right move for your car – and might even be required, depending on your local regulations. It’s best to check with your local highway department and see if snow tires are a requirement on your roads during certain times of the year.

Even those who do not live in snowy or icy climates might want to think about snow tires anyway, as they are better suited to operating in cold temperatures than regular or all-season tires. And since they are meant to operate at colder temperatures, you’ll be less likely to run into the low tire pressure light on those super cold mornings.

How Do I Pick The Right Snow Tires?

Picking the right snow tires is as easy as knowing what size tires your car usually fits and shopping to that size. The style and intensity of your snow tires are up to you, as options range from regular snow tires to heavy duty winter tires meant for deep, deep ice drifts. Look around at a local tire warehouse and see what best works for your vehicle.

Can I Just Leave Them On?

No. Remember, snow tires are designed to work in the cold, and as a result are not engineered to minimize friction heat from contact with the road like regular or all-season tires. If snow tires are used during hot temperatures the heat generated from friction on the road could do serious damage to the tires themselves and to your vehicle. It’s best to have a set of snow tires in conjunction with a set of regular or all-season tires for seasonal changes.

If you’ve ever put serious thought toward getting snow tires to battle those icy winter roads, now is not a bad time to turn that thinking into reality. Check out a tire store near you and look into their snow tire selection and you to could be driving with ease in no time this winter.