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Car Tips and Articles

Are Seasonal/Winter Tires Worth the Investment?

At Precise Car Service we feel Seasonal aka Winter Tires are worth the Investment. In fact read on and we’ll show you how they can save you money.

On a snowy road, a vehicle with winter tires has a 38 per cent less chance of being involved in a collision than a vehicle with all-season tires. The fact that the winter tire’s stopping distance is 38 per cent shorter than an all-season tire under the same conditions.

Temperature, ice and snow all have an enormous effect on a tire’s ability to function. An all-season tire in the middle of August is great because it delivers plenty of grip on dry pavement and it offers wet-weather traction. Its ability to function begins to deteriorate as the temperature drops below 7 Celsius. In the middle of December, on a -5C day, it’s ability to stop quickly is next to useless because the rubber has become so hard it has about as much grip on a cold icy road as a hockey puck has on ice. The closed tread pattern also means the tire is easily clogged with snow, which exacerbates the problem.

A winter tire’s tread is made of a much softer compound, so it remains pliable well below the freezing point, which helps maintain the desired level of grip. Its open, aggressive tread pattern also means it has the ability to bite into the snow and keep the tread clear. The downside is the wear rate. Softer rubber wears faster.

Let’s look at the real and potential cost of winter tires:  Yes winter tires are slightly more expensive than all season tires. But the reality is winter tires are a second set of tires and buying a set of all season plus a set of winter tires gives you 2 sets of tires.  If you were to buy 2 sets of all season tires you would cover almost the same distance at a slightly lower  but not significantly lower cost.

Now let’s look at the potential cost of not buying winter tires: If winter tires stop your car up to 38% better than all season tires on ice what is that worth?  Lets take a more conservative approach. Let’s say winter tires reduce your winter driving stopping distance by a mere 10% and let’s look at a scenario when you are driving slowly and you have 30 feet to stop in slippery conditions. Now a 10% shorter stopping distance is only 3 feet shorter but that 3 feet is the difference between stopping inches away from the car in front of you, and stopping almost in the back seat of the car in front of you.  Think of what rear ending the car in front of you costs.  I think this clearly illustrates how inexpensive winter tires are.  Don’t find this out the hard way as I and many good drivers have.

Invest in winter tires. It’s a good investment.

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