With the approaching winter season just around the corner, getting winter tires for your SUV and vehicles is important to drive safely and comfortably on the icy surfaces. One mistake that many vehicle owners make is that they tend to wait for the last minute to get the best winter tire for their vehicles, whereas it has always been suggested by manufacturers and dealers to avoid the last minute rush. There is also a misconception that all-season tires can handle any surface, which encourages many vehicle owners to restrain from buying winter tires.
So, why are all-season tires not viable in the winter and only winter tires are considered apt for this job? Let’s find out.
The advantages of using winter tires
- Better traction
With winter tires, you can get more prevalent deep siping along with thin slits designed horizontally across the tread that result in better traction on the icy surface. This specific design helps in creating more movement and assists the tire in “biting” onto ice and snow that are clinging to the road. With an aggressive tread pattern like this, you can also expect reduced chances of snow build-up as well on the tires.
- Special compounds
This is one of the biggest reasons why summer and all-season tires are not suitable for colder seasons because the rubber in these tires can get hardened if the temperature ever gets lower than 7 degrees Celsius. This can end up reducing the ability of the tires to safely grip the surface. On the other hand, winter tires are formulated with specific components that offer flexibility in sub-zero environments as low as -30 degrees Celsius, making them the only ideal option for this season.
- Superior braking
On icy or snow-clad surfaces, using all-season tires can make it challenging for the driver to properly stop the vehicle in an instant. As the season-inappropriate tires can get stiff in the colder seasons, they tend to respond by skidding on the slippery surface. Winter tires can stay soft, flexible, and have a better chance of helping the vehicle regain its composure due to the specific components used to manufacture them.
- Snow manoeuvrability
Compared to OEM, winter tires are manufactured in skinnier sizes as the narrower width helps increase the pounds per square inch when it comes to exerting pressure. This results in having it easier to cut through the snow and having better control over your vehicle in the winter.
- Hydroplane resistance
When a tire rolls over a frozen pavement the ice beneath it tend to melt that creates a layer of water, which might lead to slide the car uncontrollably. With winter tires you can expect reduced chances of this unpleasant phenomenon through using specialty groves that help the water push off to the side.
- GitiWinter W1
The GitiWinter W1 tire from Giti Tire is one of the best alternatives to consider when it comes to choosing the best winter tire. The tire comes with extra deep and water-repellent tread to face aquaplaning. They are especially good on wet roads, while providing decent performance on dry surfaces, and are specifically made for SUVs. The latest compound for low temperatures can be found in the W1 tires that provide maximum grip and speeds up to 240 km/h while being available in tire speed index “V.”
- Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 SUV
The next on the list is the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 SUV which comes with a new compound mix and the latest tread design that differs from the old model Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV. This tire offers exceptionally quick snow evacuation while offering a softer compound that helps in providing smoother rides and less noise.
- Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 SUV
The Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 SUV is another great option for winter tires that provides more controlled braking in emergencies when compared to the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 SUV. However, these tires are significantly louder than tires manufactured by Continental, Michelin, or Pirelli.
- Michelin X-ICE Snow
The Canadian-built tire offer excellent performance on ice with a more aggressive tread pattern that will help you drive even in deep snow. The blocks and grooves in this tire are more widely spaced, which reduces the chances of getting stuck in the snow. With Michelin’s reputation for offering smooth and quiet performance, these tires certainly live up to the standard.
- Continental VikingContact 7
The Continental VikingContact 7 closes the gap with the competitors as this one comes with wide block spacing without any centre groove. This specific design creates an even more unified tread that helps improve traction and grip on the snowy surfaces.
Winter tires are specifically made for the colder seasons and come with special compounds, greater grip, and higher traction that help a vehicle to retain performance even on the most slippery and icy surfaces.