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Does Your Car Need Dedicated Winter Tires?
Misconceptions relating to car tires pop up all over. One of the most crying delusions is that a vehicle can run on 4-season/summer tires on freezing conditions. It’s definitely not true! Your ‘wheels’ do need a dedicated winter kit consisting of 5 (4 main + a spare one) in order to withstand all pranks of snow, sleet and frost. Be sure that 4-season items won’t provide you with enough ground grip on tough weather conditions.
How to differentiate between all existing winter car tires? Let’s find it out.
The first thing to decide is whether you need aluminum or steel wheels. Aluminum products are light and responsive, although they might not provide for a sufficient ground grip. On the other hand, steel kits are heavier; hence, they are more appropriate for winter driving due to a better maneuverability.
As far as different types of winter tires are concerned, it is possible to discern classical, off-road, European, and asymmetrical solutions.
Classical tires feature standard sipes, a typical height of tread pattern (7-8 mm), and directional/non-directional framework. It is intended for a safe and smooth driving on stringently cleaned roads.
Off-road winter tires work wonders: they allow the car to overcome any obstacle, be it a drift, an ice-rink, or a hill with a 1-meter snow cover. It demonstrates an astounding ground grip, due to an offbeat tread pattern. The latter consists of standalone elements of 9-10 mm in height with large ripping/crosscutting sipes.
The so-called ‘European winter’ tires are targeting driving on well-knit roads at subzero temperatures. As usual, they boast a sportive directional tread pattern of 6-7 mm in height. Unfortunately, they can hardly cope with drifts or sleet, showing poor handling on curves and while braking.
Finally, tires with asymmetrical tread patterns are an advanced solution for winter driving. Typically, such wheels are divided into two sections: an outer face features classic design with an ideal road grip, while an inner face ensures grip on slippery or snowy surfaces.
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