Winter is fast approaching, and with it hazardous road conditions. Tires greatly affect your vehicle’s performance on cold, slippery surfaces. Here are some important facts about winter tires.

What makes winter tires different from summer and all-season tires?

Winter tires have specialized rubber compounds that stay flexible in cold weather so the tires grab the road surface. This results in improved traction, handling, and braking in cold weather conditions. Cold temperatures will cause the compounds found in all-season and summer tires to harden, resulting in lost flexibility and traction.

Winter tires use siping, a series of grooves and channels cut into the tire (often in a zigzag pattern) that increase the number of edges in the tire contact patch. These edges bite into the snow and ice when the contact patch meets the pavement. Greater tread depth allows for flexing and helps channel snow and slush across the tire’s surface and away from the contact patch.

Even if your vehicle is equipped with traction control and ABS, winter tires can be beneficial. Traction control prevents wheel spin, but does not create additional tire traction. Traction is directly related to the four contact points created by the tires. Better traction from your tires means a more effective traction control system. An Anti-lock braking system keeps the brakes from locking up when you push down on the pedal. The tires provide the traction and help the ABS deliver faster stops.

If you have any questions about winter tires for your vehicle, contact the team at Highway Tire Service & Collision, a family owned automotive service center in Terrell, NC. Drive safe!

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