Winter Tires

Winter tires are designed to be used on your vehicles in the winter months. They are manufactured with a required traction index (110 or greater). This will determine the effectiveness of the specific model of winter tire. Anything over a traction index of 110 is considered to be a winter tire as the traction is suitable for driving in winter conditions. A high traction index tells you that the tire has a better grip and you are less likely to lose control of your vehicle.

Traction Index
When buying winter tires you will want to find a model with a good traction index. Anything over 110 will be reliable but you will want to look for the best model available. Different types of vehicles may require different traction index ratings as well. To understand the manner that the traction index is used, you should know about the system and how it works.

The traction index system, established in 1999, was created by RMA (Rubber Manufacture Association). Winter tires first go through testing at America Society for Testing and Materials to determine if the tires are classified as winter tires. The tests done during this process will also determine the traction index rating so you will know how good the traction is for a specific model of winter tires. These ratings are supplied by the company that completes the test and then provided to the manufacturers, and eventually the retailers if necessary. Keep in mind that there may be some winter tires that do not display the traction rating with the packaging.

Buying Winter Tires
When shopping for winter tires you will have a lot to consider. There are many different brands and models available. You could easily find a low end brand for $35 per tire but the higher end models tend to cost around $125 to $150 per tire. The main factors of the price will be the size and brand of the quality, as well as the rubber quality.

The tire size is one important thing to consider when buying winter tires. You want to make sure that the tires will fit your vehicle. To determine this you will have to figure out the size of the rims on your vehicle. Standard-sized rims will be compatible with most, if not all, winter tires. On the other hand, if your vehicle has non-standard rims then you can purchase winter rims that are designed for winter tire use. You will also have to factor this into the budget if you have to make the extra investment to install the tires properly.

You may not need to buy any super heavy duty winter tires. If the winter conditions are not excessively harsh in your area then any model of winter tires will be efficient. If you are in an area with frequent freezing weather, icy roads, and a lot of snow storms, then you will want to look for a heavy duty model of winter tires. Find winter tires that will work not just for your vehicle but rather your driving conditions as well. Also, keep in mind that you will most likely have to pay a tire technician to install the winter tires.

Final Thoughts
If you plan on driving in the winter then this should be an obvious investment. To ensure your own safety, and the safety of others on the road, you will need to use winter tires in the winter season. You should also plan ahead of time for this so you do not end up forgetting to change tires in time. The best way to determine when the winter tires should be installed is to watch for five days of consistent freezing temperatures. Statistics have shown that the average number of auto accidents is higher during the first day of snowfall each year. Therefore, buying winter tires ahead of time and installing them as soon as there is a hint of winter weather starting is a great plan.

After you buy winter tires you will want to store them. You should be able to stack five winter tires vertically in your garage or shed. Once you decide to install the tires then you should bring your vehicle to a tire technician. This is the case, unless you or a friend has experience with installing winter tires. In closing, using winter tires may not be a regulated law in your area but it will decrease the chance of any auto accidents and make driving a lot easier. Therefore, do not hesitate to invest in winter tires for your vehicle.

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