Preparing Your Vehicle For Winter
September 4, 2020
Auto Repair Edgewood WA
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December 15, 2021

The winter season always gives drivers a hard time on the road! The slippery surface, combined with reduced visibility, makes for the perfect recipe for disaster. But, what are drivers to do? Luckily, winter tires prove to be reliable and a good option during this time of the year. They are designed to enhance traction on the road, helping to keep you on the right course as you drive on the slippery surface. So, when is the best time to have an Auto Shop install snow tires on your vehicle?

What are snow tires?

Winter tires are designed specifically for the cold-weather season and provide better traction than all-season tires or summer rubber. They come with a flexible compound that adapts to changing temperatures, thus enhancing their grip during this time of year. Snow tire treads also feature deeper grooves, flatter, and more block-like lugs, providing better traction on slippery roads.

What types of winter tires are there?

There are two main types of winter tires, the winter tire and the studless ice & snow tire.

Winter or All-Season tires

Winter tires are great for drivers who don’t spend most of their time in deep snow or icy roads but want more control when needed. These come with a flexible compound that adapts to warm and freezing temperatures throughout this period, thus providing a better grip. These winter tires come with more tire tread depth and more sipes to provide better traction. They also offer increased safety due to their ability to reduce braking distance by up to 40%. They are the most common types of winter tires installed in areas where there is a significant amount of precipitation.

Studless ice & snow tire

These have a much more flexible compound, making them great for warm climates, but can become hard in colder temperatures. Studded ice & winter tires provide up to 25% better grip in these conditions and come with a deeper tread depth, allowing for more stability when high speeds. These should be installed on vehicles that need them all year long, such as areas receiving heavy precipitation or cities that see frequent freezes throughout winter.

What are the benefits of winter tires? 

The benefits of installing winter tires are numerous as follows:

Improve traction on slippery roads

Winter tires are designed to improve the traction on slippery roads, making it easier for drivers to maintain control of their car during this time. This is achieved by providing better grip and more even distribution of pressure across the tires’ surface. Winter tires are made with an increased number of sipes which provide extra grip when driving through snow, slush, or ice.

Improve braking and steering

The flatter lugs are designed to provide better traction on snow-packed roads, leading to safer driving conditions during the winter. Snow tires also improve braking and steering, allowing for shorter stopping distances. This is crucial to preventing accidents and unnecessary collisions.

Last longer than summer tires

They also last much longer than all-season tires. Snow tires can last up to three times longer, allowing for a more cost-effective solution than the regular summer tires or all-seasons, which need to be replaced frequently during this time of year.

Provide more flexibility during winter

Snow tires also provide more flexibility during the wintertime, allowing for a smoother and quieter ride. This is due to their deeper grooves which enable them to adapt better when temperatures drop. Regular rubber gets harder at colder temperatures, leading to an increased amount of noise as drivers travel on snowy or icy roads.

Reduce hydroplaning

Snow tires are also great for reducing hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is a dangerous driving condition when the car’s tires cannot absorb any more water, causing them to ride on top of the water instead. This leads to loss of control and can be extremely dangerous as it leaves no space between drivers and oncoming traffic or obstacles along their path.

tire instillation Federal Way

When should I install snow tires?

The best time to install winter tires is just before winter weather hits. This allows drivers to get an early start and prepare for the harsh conditions that come with it. Winter tire installation should take place in October or November, giving them enough time to wear off throughout this period of heavy use. Installing winter tires too late can lead to problems such as the risk of damage by salt and slush, which can shorten their lifespan.

Winter tires should also be installed on all four wheels as it provides better handling during this time of year. If only one or two are replaced, drivers might not fully control their car when driving through snow-packed roads with tight turns. Winter tires for trucks should also be installed on all four wheels. Experts recommend winter tire installation when temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit as their grip becomes significantly better in cold conditions than in warmer ones.

What is the best snow tire?

There isn’t a single “best” type of snow tire, but rather one that serves your specific needs. Winter or all-season tires are great for drivers who don’t spend much time on snowy roads and want more control when needed. Studded ice & snow tires, are a good solution for those who drive in the snow all year long and want to increase their safety level.

Come to Federal Way Automotive & Radiator!

Our shop offers a variety of car repair solutions to ensure you’re always safe on the road all year long! We have a team of qualified and experienced mechanics ready to fix whatever is wrong with your car. Visit or call our auto repair shop in Federal Way for all your car needs, including snow tire installation!