5 myths about winter tires
(NC) We know there are many myths out there about winter driving, and they might put you in a tricky situation when the weather turns cold. Here are some misconceptions it’s important to clear up:
- I have all-season tires – I don’t need to waste my money on winter tires
If you frequently face snow, ice or the temperature is consistently near freezing, your tires need the extra grip of winter tires for turning, braking, and accelerating. This is true even if you have four-wheel or all-wheel drive. Winter tires have specific tread designs and are made from a specific rubber compound, which combine to provide better grip, traction and braking in extreme weather such as wet roads, snow, slush and ice.
- I can just drive slower in the winter and be aware of my surroundings
It’s always good to slow down in winter and watch your surroundings, the weather, traffic patterns and road conditions. However, this is not a substitute for winter tires. Tires make a difference if you need to brake or steer to avoid a collision because they’re the only part of your car in contact with the road.
- Under-inflating your tires will result in better traction
You should never under-inflate your winter tires. Not only will this degrade grip and stability, it can also damage your tires. You should check your tire pressure before hitting the road this winter for optimal grip, longevity and mileage or battery range.
- I don’t need winter tires if the road is clear
Some people think that winter tires are only needed when the road is covered with snow or ice but forget that winter tires are also needed when the temperature is low and road surfaces are clear.
- I only need two winter tires
“This is a terrible myth and one that shouldn’t be followed,” says Russell Shepherd, technical communications director at Michelin. “For maximum control of your vehicle in cold weather conditions, having four tires of the same size, tread depth and design, and inflation pressure is critical to ensure a vehicle maintains its highest level of stability and control.”
Find more information about winter tires at michelin.ca.
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