7 Reasons Why Winter Tires are so Effective
When it comes to being ready for winter driving there’s few things better to prepare yourself for the conditions than to be equipped with winter tires. If you normally think a “tire is a tire” or “my all-season tires are good enough,” you’re wrong, especially when dealing with the unpredictability and harshness that Calgary winters deliver, your vehicle needs to be properly prepared. We’ve compiled the top 7 reasons why winter tires are so effective, from their material quality, new technology, traction and more. Read with us at Charlesglen Toyota about the importance of winter tires, shop for yours and get them swapped on, today.
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1. Specifically Designed Rubber for the Cold
The same rubber that makes your summer tire doesn’t make your winter tire, it’s a completely different compound. The winter tire rubber is much softer (as hard rubber gets even harder in the cold, thus losing their ability to provide optimal traction), increasing its ability to grip onto ice and snow. 7℃ and below is when winter tires offer better traction than all-season, and when you should get your winter tire swapped on.
2. Hydrophilic Rubber Coating
Our Toyota-approved winter tires come with a hydrophilic coating, which works sort of like a sponge in absorbing the moisture that accumulates on the tire. This moisture is caused due to the pressure of the tire on the road, and acts as a lubricant, but with this coating at play the tire is able to keep it at bay and provide the traction that you desire.
3. Sipes Push Water Away from the Tire
You might’ve heard the word before, but may not know exactly what a “sipe” is. See those funny little squiggles and grooves on your tire? It’s not a fun design for style, those were designed with a specific practical purpose. When these sipes hit the pavement they actually open up and pull water into them, then when the tire rotates around again they displace the water out behind the tire. Not only strong against the cold and with superior traction, winter tires do expert water displacement work as well.
4. Micro Bubble Technology
Our top levels of Toyota-approved and recommended tires contain what is known as micro bubbles. This is a specially-designed rubber made from multi-cell compounds, effectively creating mini micro bubbles inside of the tread. When your tires wear away and the little bubbles appear, they now act as sipes, helping control water away from the vehicle and prevent slippage of the tire.
5. Cold Roads = Less Traction
If you’re familiar with asphalt roads getting hot and sticky on a summer day stricken with extreme heat then you can imagine what happens with the opposite effect in winter. The colder a surface is, the less traction it will provide. That means you need all the traction you can get from your tires, and winter tires were designed specifically to do that and grip onto cold, icy and wet roads.
6. Deep Treads Provide Effective Grip
Your all-season tires may be decently fine providing grip if there’s no snow on the ground, but as soon as the snow hits the road (and here in Calgary we know it’s a matter of when not if) you need deep treads to effectively grip the unruly packed snow. The treads on winter tires are made to bite hard into the snow, trying to get as much rubber to touch the road as possible, while at the same time pushing away that pesky snow and slush.
7. Provides a Shorter Stopping Distance
Tests have shown that using winter tires to stop in wet conditions gives about a 7 metre shorter stop when compared to using summer tires. In other words, you’ll be sliding 7 more metres (on average) if you try to stop in wet conditions in summer tires than if you had winter tires. 7 metres is a lot, and can mean the difference between a safe stop and an accident. Quick and safe stopping power is paramount in winter, and winter tires are your best bet to increase your likelihood of collision-free driving.
Now you know why winter tires are so important during the cold, snowy seasons, so take some time and shop our online tire store for the best brands available. Have snow tires and ready to get them swapped on? Our tire experts in our service department would love to assist. Book an appointment or contact us, today.