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Do you need a set of winter tires for your car, SUV, or light truck?
It depends on whether or not you need to get out in the winter and expect to have the safest handling and performance during the cold weather months. These days with all wheel drive, traction control and anti lock brakes being standard on the majority of vehicles, we often overlook the importance of choosing the right tire for all different weather conditions. Here in northern New Jersey, we enjoy a wonderful change of seasons. With those changes, attention should be paid to the maintenance of your car. Awareness of what you can expect from your tires in different weather conditions is part of that process. Here’s a really basic breakdown of the different categories of tires. This may help you decide if it’s time to make a change as the colder weather, icy driving conditions, and snow season approaches:
1. Traditional “All Season” tires – a compromise really, designed to give you good traction and performance in all four seasons. However it should be noted, like in any compromise situation, All season tires are typically only “adequate” in snow conditions and not very effective in very cold weather (below 45 degrees) as their tread compound is typically designed for temperatures around 60 degrees or above.
2. “Winter Tires”, formerly known as snow tires. As most cars are front wheel drive these days (and many all wheel drive) winter tires are designed to give you safe steering and traction to get through snow. Most importantly, winter tires will deliver better performance in the cold weather (temperatures below 45 degrees) as their tread compound is designed to remain compliant in cold weather. This added feature is probably the least recognized but most important benefit to selecting winter tires for your car during the cold weather months (November through April). Winter tires are installed on all four wheels to ensure that your car will handle safely at all times.
3. “All-Terrain or All-Season Tires” for your SUV or Pickup. All -terrain tires are designed to give you good performance off the road in mud or dirt. The compromise here is that the more aggressive tires may “look” like they will be good in the snow, but in fact, all-season SUV or Light Truck tires are almost always better in on-road driving and you will get more mileage and a smoother quieter ride as well.
Choosing the right tire for your vehicle is just like putting on the right pair of shoes each day.
If you have any questions about selecting the right tires for your car, SUV or truck,call ETD Discount Tire or stop by any of their seven North Jersey locations for a complimentary evaluation.
Safe driving is greatly enhanced by awareness and preparation for changing conditions.
The information in Car Care Aware is provided by Joel Sparling of ETD Discount Tire Centers. Car Care Aware is a regular feature of the mybergen.com Automotive section.
For more information on Care Care and Tire safety, visit www.etddiscounttire.com .
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