Snow tires seem to be the age old argument when it comes to winter driving in snow. Do they really work? Do I need them? I have AWD I’m all good. The truth is, snow tires serve a purpose, but do you need them and how do they work? We decided to write a quick post on what we think and have learned over the years.
What Is Important About Tires?
To the average person, looking at a tire doesn’t show them that much about how a tire will perform or how it is designed. It looks like a rubber ring with some grooves carved into the road surface to provide traction. The type of rubber that the tire is made from also plays a huge role in how a tire performs.
Snow tires are designed specifically for snow, which gives them an edge on snowy roads. The tread pattern is filled with tiny grooves in the large treads of the tires to trap snow. The reason to trap snow is to use the molecular structure of the snow to keep traction for your car. For scientific reasons in which we won’t get into, snow likes to stick to snow. This is why when you make a snowball, it sticks together through the air until it hits the intended target. The other large factor is the rubber compound used in the tires. Snow tires are made from a softer rubber compound which provides better grip in cold weather. The only downside to this is that they tend to wear faster and are not meant for year round use.
Studs and Chains
Another addition that can be made to snow tires are studs. Like the name implies, they are little metal studs embedded into the tread to provide extra bite in icy conditions. These are great for areas of high snow/ice, but do have downsides. They are limited on when and where they can be used and they are noisy to drive with. Some other additions are snow chains, which are a net of chains that wrap around the tire and provides extra grip. These are traditionally used on larger vehicles.
Own The Road This Winter
If you are looking for snow tires, or any accessories for winter, visit any of our Quirk Cars locations and we can get exactly what you need.