5 Winter Tire Myths

Sometimes called snow tires, winter tires feature technology that other tires don't.

1. Winter Tires Are Only For Snow

Anyone who lives where the weather gets a little cooler can benefit from winter tires. In colder temperatures, all-season tires stiffen, reducing grip. The rubber compounds and other components that make up winter tires keep them flexible in temperatures below 45°F (7°C). Tire flexibility allows for better vehicle handling and stopping.

2. Brakes Alone Stop My Vehicle

Tires greatly affect your vehicle's stopping distance. Especially when roads are slick, tires without specifically designed winter tread patterns can simply slide when the brakes are applied. Winter tires have deep grooves and small slits called sipes that cut through snow and ice, keeping more of your tire in contact with the road.

3. My All-Season Tires Work Fine in the Winter

All-season tires are great for mild weather changes, but anyone who experiences cooler winters can get better performance with winter tires.In addition to having flexible compounds and specialized tread designs,winter tires help make your all-season tire last longer: while the winter ones are on, the all-season ones aren't wearing down.

4. Winter Tires Are More Expensive

The cost of winter tires is usually comparable to any other kind of tire.Plus, switching between winter tires and all-season or summer tires makes both sets last longer than they normally would.

5. I Have Four-Wheel Drive So I Don't Need Winter Tires

Ever see SUVs on the side of the road when the weather's bad? They probably don't have winter tires. In the winter, four-wheel drive can help you get going but won't help when you're trying to stop. Four-wheel drive helps you control the tires, but that doesn't mean much if the tires themselves aren't flexible enough or don't have the right tread design to push snow and ice out of their way.

Tires are your only four points of contact with the road. The more they touchthe road, the safer they are. Winter tires make all the difference in coldertemperatures and in snowy, icy conditions.

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