Winter is here. Days are shorter and colder, and here in Portland the weather can go from sunny and clear to pouring rain to hailing all within the same day. And in spite of it all we are on the road all the time, traveling to see family, shopping, and commuting. If you haven’t purchased Winter Tires yet or had your regular tires swapped out for the Winter Tires you already own, now is the time to do so!
Here are Four Things you should know about Winter Tires:
1. They’re Not Just For Snow
You may have heard Winter Tires referred to as Snow Tires in the past, but that is a common misconception. True, it doesn’t snow a whole lot here in Portland, but the weather still gets down below 45 degrees quite often. Ice is often more dangerous than snow, and as you probably know from living here, wet roads deserve the utmost caution as well. Winter tires have special grooves in them to prevent hydroplaning.
Also, many people don’t know that winter tires are not only treaded for better traction, but the rubber is designed to stay soft in cold temperatures. The rubber in regular tires is meant to operate between 50 and 100 degrees. Below that, the rubber can become brittle, increasing the risk of cracks and tears, and negatively affecting the tire’s traction.
2. What About All-Season Tires?
All-Season Tires can be great, but in reality, the name is a misnomer. In any place where the weather gets down to freezing or below, they are really Three-Season Tires at best. These tires have a better range of temperatures they can operate in, but they still get brittle in cold temperatures.
Also, dedicated Winter Tires have to pass minimum traction and temperature standards, while All-Season tires have much more lax requirements. While All-Season tires may be good from April to October, it is wise to ensure your safety with tires designed for the toughest weather.
3. Do Winter Tires Need Their Own Wheels?
Not necessarily. Some people prefer to have their Winter Tires mounted on separate wheels, which may cost a bit more, but makes it a bit quicker to swap out when the seasons change. However, un-mounting your regular tires and mounting the winter ones is something we do all the time, and we can get you in and out quickly!
4. Can I Just Use Two Winter Tires?
No! I mean, you could technically do it, but it’s not a good idea. You need your tires to have consistent traction on all sides. Too little on one side, and you have steering problems, too little on the other, and you risk spinning out.
Winter Tires may not be cheap exactly, but can you put a price on safety?
If you need to purchase Winter Tires and/or have them mounted, give us a call us at 503-221-2411 or Make An Appointment Online today. Don’t wait! It’s only going to get colder, icier, and wetter out there.
Be safe and have a Happy, Happy Holiday!