Snow Tires VS Studded Tires
Remember studded tires? Tires with noisy metal studs driven into the tread? They’re pretty hard to beat for traction in really extreme winter conditions. If your area regularly gets ice and heavy snow, if you live on a hill or out in the country where roads are seldom plowed, or if you have no choice but to put in a lot of miles in winter driving conditions, studded tires (or “studdable”) may be the thing you’re looking for. Remember, though, that studded tires aren’t legal in some states, so do your homework before making that decision.
But let’s talk about “snow tires,” or winter tires. They’ve come a long way in the last few decades…the old truck-style snow tir ...[more]Read More
There are a lot of tires out there on the market, and once you start trying to get information on the ones you’re looking for, it can be enough to make your head spin. We took some time to narrow down the best rated tires for you:
BEST RATED WINTER TIRES
· Michelin X-Ice Xi3 – If you regularly have to deal with snow-packed or icy pavement, the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 is up toward the top of our list, with a quiet ride and great traction.Read More
Mud terrain tires have to do more than just look tough – they have to get you into the rough places and get you back out again. Mud terrain tires typically have an aggressive tread and deep lugs with self-cleaning bars to eject mud and stones. They also usually feature a rubber compound that’s suitable for off-road or on a dry highway, and extra layers of steel belts and nylon reinforcement in the tread and sidewall to resist punctures and cuts from rocks and other obstacles. In other words…mud terrain tires are just tough tires that mean business once you get off-road!Read More
A big reason why SUVs have become so popular is their versatility, especially in cold climates – even if your SUV never leaves the pavement, it’s pretty handy to have that traction when things get snowy. There are plenty of all-season tire options out there for SUVs, but we took the time to pull together some of our favorites for you:
· Michelin LTX M/S2 – Michelin’s LTX M/S2 is designed with Michelin’s long-wearing, all-season silica-enhanced tread compound, with Michelin’s MaxTouch construction. The rubber compound is molded into a symmetric tread design with stable independent tread blocks and high-density 3-D Active Sipes for all-season traction. Four wide channels, multiple lateral grooves and open slots at the shoulders help move water away from the tire’s contact patch. Internally, the LTX M/S2 features ...[more]Read More
Tread depth is crucial to your safety! Once the tires on your car get below a certain minimum tread depth, your steering, handling and traction are compromised seriously enough that your car is considered unsafe to drive. Most states cite 2/32” as a minimum tread depth, but the truth is that your traction in wet weather or snow can be treacherous long before the tread makes it to 2/32”.
Most tire brands have “wear bars” embedded in the tread grooves, at a right angle to the tread. Once the wear bars start to show through, it’s definitely time to replace the tires.
The oldest rule-of-thumb test is the “Lincoln head penny” test – insert a penny into the tread, with Lincoln’s head pointed down. If the tread doesn’t come to the top ...[more]Read More
Tires are something that many drivers take for granted…but they shouldn’t. Tires are as big a part of your car’s overall safety as anything else. These are all things to keep in mind when it comes to tire safety:
- Proper inflation – Underinflated tires will cost you money in premature tread wear and increased rolling resistance (which means a hit on your gas mileage). Worse than that, though, underinflated tires will compromise your vehicle’s handling and steering, and can dangerously overheat on hot days or long trips. Modern radial tires won’t begin to show signs of deforming until they are at least 30% low on pressure, so just eyeballing a tire won’t tell you if it’s underinflated. Rubber is porous and even brand-new tires lose air, so make a poi ...[more]
“What kind of tire do I need?” We hear this question pretty often, and there’s no pat, easy answer for it. We can help you go in the right direction, though.
Obviously, you want tires that are going to get the best traction in dry, wet or wintry conditions, for starters. Chances are you’ll also want good ride comfort, treadwear and noise control. Those factors will will drive some of your decision just by itself (and we will get into that in a minute). You may have a vehicle with lots of miles on it or a vehicle you may not want to hang onto for much longer, so you might decide for a less-expensive set of tires or ones with less of a treadwear warranty.
What kind of vehicle do you drive? Sedan, sports coupe, light truck, minivan, SUV? What’s ...[more]Read More
You may be wondering when you should get new tires…they are a big investment and you don’t want to jump the gun, right? You also don’t want to push your luck with tires that are worn-out and running on borrowed time. Here are some tips:
- Run your hands along the surface of the tires. Feel for any irregularities like unevenly-worn spots or a rippled edge to the tread (also called “feathering”). These are indicators of suspension or steering issues that can contribute to tire wear, or an indicator of tires that haven’t been rotated frequently enough. Feel for any tread separation or possible bulges or cracks in the tread surface. If you detect problems like that, the tire is in imminent danger of failure and needs to be replaced right awa ...[more]
Get a look at your tire sidewall and you’ll see information molded into the rubber, in the form of raised letters and numbers. We’d like to explain to you what that information means, so let’s break it down:
- Load Index – The load index is a reflection of the maximum weight that is safe for a tire to carry. The load index numbers range from 0 to 279; passenger car tires are usually in the 75-105 range. When it’s time to replace your tires you’ll want to pay close attention to those numbers.
- Speed Rating – Speed rating designations are assigned by the U.S. government, and are an indicator of minimum standards for accelerating to and holding a certain specific speed. The higher the speed rating number on a tire, the better a v ...[more]
Those of us who live in cold climates often need tires specifically for winter driving, which then need to come off the vehicle in the warmer months. Did you know there are requirements for storing winter tires? Here are some do’s and don’ts to prolong their life:
· If a vehicle is in storage for months on end, don’t leave the weight on the tires for lengthy periods. Either put the vehicle on jack stands or take it out and drive it once a week or so to flex the tires and disperse the inner chemicals and oil within the rubber compound.
· Avoid commercial “tire dressing” products. Tire compounds are designed to resist dry rot, ozone cracks or weather checks ...[more]Read More