Simple Answers from Thurstons Garage in Lovell: Winter TiresJun 24th, 2018
What is the benefit of winter tires?
Thurstons Garage Answer:
This is a really good question. Most new vehicles in Lovell come with all-season tires that work pretty well in the Chatham winter conditions drivers many encounter. First, let's talk about the things that dedicated winter tires do really well, touch on all-seasons and then you should have some information to help you in your tire selection.
The first thing about winter is that it's cold. The rubber compound used in summer and all-season tires gets a bit hard when ME temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit/7 degrees Centigrade. Winter tires, on the other hand, stay more pliable as the thermometer drops in Chatham. This means better dry road traction in the cold.
Ice and snow is the next thing Lovell drivers worry about during ME winters. Now some ME drivers live where there is a lot of snow, a lot of the time. Extreme winter condition snow tires have a tread design that cuts into and expels deep snow for maximum traction. These tires have a mountain and snowflake icon on the sidewall of the tire.
If you live in ME where the ice and snow are more moderate you can still benefit from winter tires. Their tread has many small “cuts” called sipes that really help them get a grip on ice.
Now, all-season tires are a year-round compromise between high summer performance and high winter performance. They just don't handle either extreme as well as do dedicated summer or winter tires for ME driving. For example, winter tires offer 25% to 50% more traction than all-season tires. And studies have shown that all-season tires can take upwards of 40% longer to stop than winter tires. This could be enough difference to prevent getting stuck or in an accident.
So what's best for you? You can ask your Thurstons Garage tire professional and the conditions in which you drive in ME throughout the year and how important performance is to you. For many Lovell drivers that put a premium on handling performance, dedicated summer tires in summer and dedicated winter tires in the winter (for cold as well as ice and snow) are what they need to satisfy their performance needs. Thurstons Garage technicians will mount different tires depending on the season.
Your friendly and knowledgeable Thurstons Garage tire professional can help you a great all-season tire if that is what best suits your needs. No matter which route you take, remember that quality tires are not immune to the laws of physics – so it's important to drive safely in all Chatham road conditions.
Give us a call.
951 Main Street
Lovell, ME 04051