Picking the Right Tires for Your Car

January 6th, 2014
New England can face some pretty harsh weather conditions, which is precisely why we’ve made it our job to be a resource for tires in New Hampshire and Maine.  To learn more about picking the right tires for the seaon and your daily drive, read on. Or click here to see our selection of tires.
 
Tires are extremely important, and without them the world would be a much different place. Even if you rarely drive, when you then start to think about tires in a broader sense you’ll realize that they enable you in many other ways – from the products you use to the services you rely on – and we won’t even get into how different history would be if the wheel had never existed. However, many of us do have to worry about our tires from time to time, and choosing the right tire has gotten more and more difficult as the years have progressed and technology has changed. So read on to learn how to pick the best tire for your daily drive.
 
There are a lot of tires you can choose from. Our job is to help you pick the right one for your needs.
When it comes to picking the best tires for your needs, first you need to consider what you’re looking for. Is it winter, and will you frequently be driving on roads that don’t often see the snowplow? Then you might be best served by snow tires with an aggressive tread pattern, and maybe even studs. However, if you live in a warmer climate the softer rubber and aggressive tread of winter tires is exactly the opposite of what you need. In any case, you always have a choice – and it’s an important choice to make. After all, they always say you shouldn’t skimp on shoes, for your feet or for your vehicle.
 
A snow tire is typically used on passenger vehicles and light trucks, generally in parts of the world that receive a considerable amount of snow. In most cases, the tread on snow tires is designed in blocks to deliver optimal driving performance and snow evacuation while also reducing side slippage. Above all other types of tire, snow tires are made to have better stopping power and traction due to their aggressive tread pattern that can more effectively grab onto softer snow. However, due to the inherent cold of winter, snow tires are made of softer compounds to more effectively stick to the road surface in icy and snowy conditions. Due to this, the tire will wear more quickly when the snow and cold are gone for good.
 
Directly opposite the winter tire is the summer tire, which is always used in seasons without snow (such as summer, fall, and spring) or for climates where there is no snow. Apart from delivering excellent traction for a majority of the year (in most places) summer tires are manufactured to reduce noise, improve smoothness, and provide safer handling at high speeds.choosing-best-tire-for-your-car
 
In the middle of the two, you’ll find a relatively happy medium, the all season tire. All season tires were designed to spare many drivers from the hassle of changing from summer tires to winter tires. For drivers who drive all year round in moderate climates and sometimes encounter snow – all season tires are an ideal middle ground that provides more treaded slits and more aggressive siping than a summer tire. However, for drivers that frequently encounter snow and ice – an all season tire may not be enough for winter driving in the extremes.
All season tires are designed to handle all weather conditions, but – as the saying goes – they are a “jack of all trades, and a master of none.” All season tires are not optimized to excel in any one area. This means they are manufactured with a harder material, won’t conform to the road surface as well in the winter, and won’t be quite as quiet as a summer tire.
 
To get a good understanding of your tires in relation to the season, consider the type of footwear you may wear to go for a walk down the street in the summer, fall, winter, and spring (depending on geography). In warmer months, you generally wear a shoe that’s less bulky and more responsive. Typically, these shoes are also relatively flat on the bottom. In the fall and the spring, chances are your footwear is a little more bulky, with more tread, and more protection.
 
Finally, in the winter – chances are you’re wearing boots. If you can avoid it, you won’t be wearing your lightweight low-tread summer shoes to go get the paper at the end of the icy driveway, because chances are you’ll slip and fall. Instead, you’ll wear your boots, which provide better traction and better protection against the elements.
So if you ever find yourself wondering what kind of tire you should get, just consider the way you drive and where you live. Hopefully now the decision won’t be too difficult.
 
For drivers in colder climates, a cost effective approach to having both a winter and a spring, summer, and fall set of tires is to keep the winter set mounted on one set of wheels, and the all-season set mounted on another.
  Tags: winter tires
  Posted in: Tires 101