How to Improve Tire Grip in the Winter

March 24, 2021

Snowy tires driving on a snowy road

Denver sees its fair share of snow, ice, and slush. Whether you have to run errands a couple of times each week or commute to work every day, it can be a slippery slope when you get behind the wheel. Fortunately, there are some solutions to the slip-sliding of your tires. Winter tires offer more grip and improved safety when you have to be on the road on a bad weather day. Are there any other benefits of having these tires installed? Is there anything you should know before purchasing them? Let us guide you through some tips for the best winter tire grip.

Why Do You Need Winter Tires?

Whether you drive a car, truck, or SUV, winter tires come in handy for every vehicle during winter. It really doesn’t matter if you drive for your profession or just for fun. Safety should be a top priority, and tires specifically made for winter are just one step in ensuring that. The following are some reasons to get seasonal tires for your ride in Denver, CO:

  • There are no compromises – Some tires are made with a compromise that equips them for all seasons and all-weather. When you have tires installed specifically for winter, there are no compromises. The traction is different, as it is made just for the snow, slush, and cold temperatures. This makes traction better and stopping distances shorter when the roads are slick. With a compromise in tires, you may not get those full benefits.
  • The tires are more flexible – Tires made specifically for winter are more flexible, and that’s how it should be! Summer and all-season tires will get hard and stiff when the temperatures drop. You may notice your tires are flat in the morning during the winter, and if they are inflexible, this could cause an uncomfortable ride. It also decreases safety as traction decreases. The flexibility of car and truck winter tires provides that soft, malleable material required to stop and go as needed, even if the road is completely dry and clear.
  • Your tires will last longer – When you set your summer or all-season tires aside for the winter, they are naturally going to last longer. Your winter tires will also last longer than just one season, as you will swap them out when the warmer weather hits. This helps to offset the costs of tires all year long.
  • Safety is increased – Anything you do to prepare your car for the season is going to increase safety. With the right tires, you will be able to stop easier and more quickly. The slipping and sliding you are used to won’t be as dramatic, which helps you avoid slamming into another vehicle or illegally sliding through an intersection.
  • It’s the law – Colorado has a Traction Law, which requires motorists to comply with one or more of a set of options. One of those options is installing winter tires that have a tread depth of 3/16”. This law might come into play on a severely stormy day, or you might be required to have winter tires in a particular area between two different dates each year.
  • Performance is maximized – If you have an all-wheel-drive system and you put winter tires on the vehicle, you’ll maximize the performance of the tires. Whether you just spend a lot of time out and about during winter or are traveling up the mountain to participate in winter sports, this will be highly beneficial.

Is There Anything You Should Consider?

Car and truck winter tires can’t just be picked up off a shelf and installed on your vehicle. It’s important you know which tires are right for your vehicle and your situation. While this is best achieved by working with a professional from Paddock Imports, you may want to do some research on your own as well. Some things to consider include:

  • Tire size – Your winter tires and your all-season or summer tires will be the same size, so it should be easy to find the size on the sidewall of your existing tires. That sidewall size will be written in a code that gives you the depth of the tread, the ratio of the sidewall and tread, and the interior diameter of your tire.
  • Driving needs – There are different qualities when it comes to tires for winter driving. Someone who spends a lot of time up in the mountains or on otherwise icy and slushy roads will want a higher quality tire. Someone who doesn’t do a lot of winter driving, but does occasionally head to the local grocery store, could probably get away with a lesser quality for a lower price.
  • Preparation – Have you prepared to drive during the winter? You should never just head out there if you’ve never driven on ice or in the snow before. Take some time to practice driving on your winter tires before you head out on the road. Practice handling and braking when you’re away from other cars, other people, or any other type of property.
  • Tire brand and type – Too many drivers don’t think about mixing tire brands and types, but this could be dangerous and damaging. If you’re going to get winter tires, you should get four winter tires instead of mixing and matching with all-season or summer tires. If you have a particular brand of tires, you may want to stick with that brand for all four tires.
  • Your budget – You don’t have to buy a tire you can’t afford just because you need tires for the cooler temperatures. Check into the different types of car and truck winter tires available to find a set that works with your budget. If you’re worried about it, you can often speak with your technician about a more affordable option.

Are There Any Other Tips for Winter Driving in Colorado?

As someone who is out on the road during winter in Denver, CO, and the surrounding areas, it may do you good to have some more tips for winter driving. For example, when you’re on a snow-covered road that has already been traveled on, drive in the tracks the other drivers have made instead of trying to forge your own path. It might still be slippery, but it will increase safety a bit. You could also add some weight to the trunk if you drive a rear-wheel vehicle, as this adds traction and grip when you’re in the snow.

Remember to slow down so you don’t have to make many quick stops. If you do have to stop quickly, pay attention to other cars around you in case you slide. Of course, you shouldn’t forget the other components of your automobile, either. Driver safety in winter doesn’t just have to do with your tires. You should also have your brakes inspected, your power steering examined, your oil changed, and an overall maintenance check for your vehicle. Doing so will ensure you stay safe on the road.

Contact Us To Schedule an Appointment

At Paddock Imports, we are committed to driver safety with the auto services you need most. In winter, you need to consider many elements of your car, with your tires being some of the most important. Whether this is your first or twenty-first winter in Denver, CO, winter tires are essential to safe and effective driving in the snow, ice and slush. Contact Paddock Imports today at 303-825-5700 to schedule your appointment or to learn more about our services.

 

Featured Image: Krasula/Shutterstock

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