We hate to say it, but we’re inching into that time of year when the temperature drops and the precipitation rises. So let’s talk winter tires.
Tire performance is directly related to temperature. As a tire heats up, its rubber softens and its grip increases. This is the reason you see racecars swerving this way and that before the green flag drops – they’re increasing tire temperature so as to increase traction. Now, summer tires are made of hard rubber that softens under warm summer driving conditions. Under cold conditions (defined as anything below 7 degrees Celsius), the opposite happens – the rubber becomes even harder, much like hockey puck on the ice. The consequence of hardened rubber is significantly less traction and poorer braking performance under cold temperature conditions.
Winter tires, on the other hand (wheel?), have a tread pattern and composition of soft rubber specifically designed to optimize traction and braking performance in cold temperatures. And they really work. In fact, braking performance in cold weather is up to 62% better with winter tires than with all-season tires.
Speaking of all-season tires, some people believe they’re the best of both worlds, optimized to perform under both warm and cold temperatures. In theory, this is true. In the real world, however, they’re actually the worst of both worlds. They perform poorly in warm temperatures compared to summer tires, and they perform poorly in cold temperatures compared to winter tires.
Cost & Storage
It is easy to see that the safest option is to run two sets of tires: summer tires for warm weather and winter tires for cold weather. Despite the supporting evidence, there are two reasons why people don’t necessarily do this: cost and storage. But this is not true! The money spent on a set of winter tires is the money saved on the lack of wear on the summer tires –10,000 km on winter tires means 10,000 extra km on your summer tires! And regarding storage, Clarkdale’s Tire Storage Program’s got you covered!
Other things to consider:
- Winter tires should always be mounted on all four wheels, not just the drive wheels
- Although four-wheel-drive vehicles deliver power more effectively in slippery conditions, they brake and corner no differently than two-wheel-drive vehicles. Winter tires are just as important for them (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/02/12/health/healthy_living/main2464029.shtml?source=RSS&attr=_2464029)
- Both the Sea-to-Sky and the Coquihalla highways mandate winter tire use during the winter season
Combined with Clarkdale’s Winter Wheel and Tire Package specials, there really is every reason to opt to for the safety of you and your loved ones this winter. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the winter tire packages designed for your particular Volkswagen model, and visit the links to learn more about our winter tire specials, storage program, and winter tires in general.