Winter driving tips.
As a mechanic and a shop owner I get to try out various types of vehicles during test drives. So we get to try out different types of tires too. We learn what works well and what doesn't.
Don't kid yourself, all season tires don't come close to a quality winter tire on ice and snow. And when you add studs to a winter tire it makes them incredibly good. I hope they allow studded tires where you drive.
All season tires work well when they can contact the road surface directly, but when isolated from the road by ice and snow they just don't work. The compound of the tire is generally harder to resist summer heat that wears tires out and with the colder temperatures they just get stiffer.
The winter tire compound is a little softer which allows a better contact patch with whatever is under it and the larger tread gaps pinch the snow to gain traction.
Another big misconception with tires is putting them on the drive wheels only.
OK, why not you ask? Well lets start with one of the most common vehicles on the road today, a family sedan, front wheel drive.
On these cars your engine and transmission is front mounted, so a good part of the weight is front biased. So that puts lots of weight on your front wheels. Weight =traction, right? So you put your winter tires on the front and your already used all seasons on the back.
Imagine now cruising down the freeway in 4 inches of fresh snow, "man these winter tires are awesome !" But you need to brake in a hurry for a deer coming out. Well those fresh winters do their job OK but the lightweight back end of your car hasn't the traction to handle the maneuver, the back end is sliding around sideways...hang on to it!!!
Well you get the picture now. You need all 4.
DONT SPIN YOUR TIRES
How many times do you see it each slippery day? You know, the drivers wheels howling for mercy as they attempt to accelerate.
Many vehicles today are equipped with traction control, there is a good reason for this accessory to your vehicle. If you can accelerate without spinning you will get moving faster than someone who is, and under more control too. A spinning tire will often create a hot spot under itself, melt the ice or snow and make it even more slippery. You even run the risk of getting yourself stuck in the rut you create.
A spinning tire also will go sideways easier, as it loses traction it also loses some direction.
Granpa said to me sometimes...slow down and go faster ...I now have seen the truth in it.
on Dec 05, 2009 | Chevrolet Impala Cars & Trucks