Cars & Vehicles Auto Parts & Maintenance & Repairs

Snow Tire Tips

    Why Snow Tires Instead of All-Season Tires

    • All-season tires, according to Tire Rack's website, allow vehicles to have a greater control over a variety of different conditions, but it makes them less suitable to take on one specific road condition. Snow tires, or winter tires, are designed specifically to tread on ice and snow, allowing the vehicle to move more efficiently and, as equally important, to prevent itself from slipping or skidding and still be able to stop effectively.

    How Many and When

    • The debate rages on whether a vehicle needs just two snow tires or four, as well as the appropriate time to put them on. According to Car Test's website, a study by Uniroyal found that most drivers tend to put on their snow tires after the first major snowfall. While this can be effective, it can also prove to be too late. Uniroyal suggests putting on snow tires in the late fall before typical snow accumulation begins.

      As for the number of tires, it is recommended that drivers choose to use four snow tires instead of just two on their primary traction tires--front wheels for front-drive cars and rear wheels for rear-drive cars. This will help prevent the tires on the opposite end of the vehicle from the snow tires from acting differently in a stopping, skidding, sliding or even starting situation.

    Maintaining and Storage

    • Air pressure is important when using snow tires. Over-inflated tires will not get the same traction, thus negating any advantage the snow tires initially created. Inflate the vehicle's tires to manufacturer's specifications and regularly check the pressure to make sure it is maintained.

      Storing the tires, according to, should be done in a dry, cool location such as a basement or some garages. Ask your tire dealer for storage bags and wrap each tire individually before stacking on top of one another, no more than four high, until needed.

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