Bountiful Utah With Winter Tires
There’s more to winter tires than Bountiful car owners may think. Those days of clunky, tractor-like snow tires are long gone in, replaced by high-tech winter tires with special rubber compounds and advanced tread designs.
In Bountiful UT winter temperatures very, the rubber in summer tires becomes hard and inflexible and they don’t grip the road as well. In contrast, winter tires use special rubber compounds that are more pliable when the thermometer drops below 45 degrees in UT giving you better road contact; so even if you don’t get much snow, winter tires will really add to your cold weather safety in Bountiful.
Snow tires may also use a micro-pore rubber compound that increases surface area so they can bite into ice and packed snow on Bountiful roads and highways.
The tread on winter tires needs to clear out water, snow and slush as the tire turns so it’s ready to take another bite when it comes back in contact with the road. But summer tires can actually be dangerous because they get packed with snow, making them very slick, and your vehicle hard to control. Winter tires have a lot of thin slits in the tread called sipes which help the tire grab ice and packed snow, providing extra traction.
Many new vehicles in come with all-season tires which are great for a wide range of weather and road conditions, but don’t provide top performance in Utah’s snow and ice. For example winter tires provide 25 to 50% more traction than all-season tires. And all-season tires take up to 42% longer to stop than winter tires in slick conditions.
For all these reasons, the tire experts at Affinity Auto in Bountiful recommend you put winter tires on all four wheels because it makes sense to have equal traction and handling at all four corners of your vehicle. Uneven traction could result in loss of control for Bountiful car owners.
Your vehicle may be equipped with stability control, anti-lock brakes and traction control – all important safety systems for UT car owners. But in order to do their job you still need good traction. Winter tires help you start, stop and corner when things get cold and slippery in Bountiful.
Call Affinity Auto Today 801-292-1331
ARE SNOW TIRES REALLY NEEDED?
Snow Tires / Winter Tires
As you can imagine, we hear a lot of questions about winter tires. And the most popular one is, “Do I even need winter tires?” At TireBuyer.com, we believe that life is too short to spend your time being confused about tires – so we’ve provided answers to some of the most common winter tire questions.
Do I need winter tires?
This can be a tough question to answer because so many variables are involved, but for the most part it depends on temperature. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If the winter temperatures where you live are regularly below 45 degrees F, you should invest in a set of four snow tires. If you live in a place where it rarely snows and the winter temperatures are relatively mild, like the Southern United States, your all-season tires are probably fine.
How are winter tires different than all-season tires?
All-season tires are built to handle a variety of road conditions – dry roads, wet roads, and in many cases, light snow. Winter tires are built specifically to perform in winter conditions like low temperatures, ice, slush, and snow. The tread compound of all-season tires can harden in low temperatures, so there’s less traction between the road and your tires. But winter tires use special rubber compounds that stay pliable in the cold, giving them better grip and improved braking, even in extreme conditions.
I have all-wheel drive (or four-wheel drive) so I don’t need winter tires, right?
Sorry…wrong. All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive improve traction by sending power to all four wheels when you accelerate (instead of just two wheels, as in front- or rear-wheel drive). But 4WD or AWD doesn’t help at all once you put on the brakes. Winter tires improve traction whether you’re accelerating, turning, or braking.
Do I really need to buy four winter tires, or can I get away with just two?
Winter tires should only be installed in sets of four, regardless of whether your vehicle is front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive. Using two different types of tires can give your vehicle a “split personality” where the front and rear are not working together. For the best handling, control, and safety in tough cold-weather conditions, we strongly recommend using four winter tires.
Plus, if you were to put two snow tires on the front of your car, and keep your all-season tires on the back, your all-season tires wouldn’t wear evenly.
What’s up with “M+S” and the “mountain/snowflake” symbol on the sidewall?
Many people think these mean the same thing – that a tire is good in snow and other wintry conditions. But they actually mean completely different things. A sidewall mark of M+S (or M/S, M&S, MS) means that you have an all-season tire that has been approved for use in mud and snow by the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association (RMA). These tires will provide traction in light snow, but we wouldn’t want to be caught in a blizzard with a set of M+S tires.
The mountain/snowflake symbol (shown below) on the sidewall means that a tire has been approved for “severe snow service” by the RMA. These tires are tested to be sure they meet the RMA’s standards for snow traction.
If you want reliable winter traction, make sure this is on your sidewall.
Can I use my winter tires all year round?
We certainly wouldn’t recommend it. When used in warm weather, the softer rubber compound can wear out faster than the compound used in all-season tires. If you used your winter tires year-round, it would end up costing you more than switching between two sets of tires.
Bridgestone Tire uses a great analogy – tennis shoes. You could wear them all year round, whether you were on the beach in the summer or in the snow during the winter. But wouldn’t it be better to wear flip-flops in the summer heat and boots in the frigid winter?
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