Winter tires: what are they?
Let me offer you a bit of background about tires, in particular winter tires. First of all, the ideal tire for smooth, dry roads has no treads. It’s called a slick, and this is like when your tires are bald. They are something like race car tires – giving optimal traction with dry, smooth pavement. But then you’d have to avoid driving in the rain, or the snow.
Can you imagine having to take on rainy and snowy days all year, because you had to drive to work on slicks? Of course not. So, tires have treads, the purpose of which is to channel water and prevent hydroplaning and losing control in wet weather.
Why do you need winter tires?
Imagine then that you are driving on slicks and your car is equipped with all the safety features you could ask for: all-wheel drive, traction control, stability control, and anti-lock brakes. With no way to channel the water you’d still be hydroplaning when the roads are wet, and the deeper the water the worse it would be.
This is because without the grooves to channel away the water, your tires would not contact the pavement. No safety system is effective if your tires do not effectively contact the pavement.
Now let’s add snow on the ground. And the temperature is freezing! Winter tires are made with rubber compounds that remain more pliable and soft in cold temperatures, allowing them to grip the pavement – especially on ice – better than so-called all-season tires. In addition, the tread on snow tires is more aggressive, allowing them to bite into the snow for added traction in true winter conditions.
Now, consider all those safety features on your car – stability control, traction control and all that. They all rely on good contact with the pavement! And that comes from your tires!
So, do you really need winter tires? If you intend to drive during winter conditions, yes. You absolutely do! On the other hand, if you don’t feel comfortable driving in winter conditions like on snow and ice, or you only do low-speed city driving, or you avoid driving in bad weather anyway, then you can do without winter tires.
How we help you drive easy in bad weather
At AML Auto Service, we offer a selection of winter tires to suit various needs. We recommend Michelin tires for most vehicles, but also have access to other options to suit various budget and driving needs. We also recommend having your winter tires mounted on a second set of rims, as this makes the seasonal change-over faster and less expensive. Over time, the second set of rims will pay for itself in labor savings.
AML has very stringent protocols for changing wheels, whether we use the same rims, or you have two sets. We clean the mounting surfaces, apply anti-seize to the hub centers, and finish with a three-step torque procedure to ensure that your wheels are properly torqued and safe!
At AML Auto Service, our number-one priority is keeping your family safe on the roads. Whether you’re taking your kids to sports or dance class, taking your truck to work, or going on a family outing or vacation, AML is there for you! We are your most trustworthy Family Car Specialists.