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The Benefits of Winter Tires

Don't let the mild, warm autumn weather we've been having fool you! Winter is still looming on the horizon. Just the other day I spotted a wooly bear caterpillar with barely any orange, though a more dependable source, the Farmer's Almanac, is also predicting a cold and snowier winter in the North East. 

 

We all know the best way to prepare for winter is to get your vehicles fitted with winter tires, but are they really necessary?

A short answer to that question is "Yes!" 

Especially in Vermont and New England where winter temperatures are regularly below 40degrees Fahrenheit, and snow is not only expected but celebrated, winter tires can make all the difference. 

The long answer gets more into the details of what makes winter tires, also known as snow tires, so unique.

The first feature of winter tires is the rubber compound they are made of. Tires work best when the tread compound is soft and pliable, but the compound of all-season tires can harden up in lower temperatures causing less traction and make breaking less controlled. Winter tires use a rubber compound that is specially developed to stay pliable to do just the opposite. Even in extreme cold the tread will confidently grip the road. However, this unique rubber compound is why you shouldn't drive your winter tires all year. The softer rubber will wear down quicker in warmer temperatures, so you should always make sure to switch back to all-season or summer tires in a timely manner in the spring. 


Another feature that makes winter tires so well-suited for, well, winter is the design of the tread. The deeper and more irregular tread pattern (1) has two main benefits. First it allows for slush and soft snow to essentially "flow" through the tread. Another benefit is that it helps prevent deeper snow from compacting into and building up in the treads, which would decrease traction on unplowed roads or driveways. Winter tires also feature a specialized tread on the outside of the tire called "shoulder blocks"  (2) which increases the contact and friction. 

 


Overall winter tires make for a safer and more controlled driving experience in winter weather, giving you the confidence to get out and enjoy all the great things winter in Vermont has to offer! Give our Service Department a call today for prices and to schedule your appointment! (888) 903-1452

Or check out our Winter Tires Packages Page!

*Written by Grace Tomczak, Digital Marketing Specialist for Audi South Burlington 
Sources: AutoBlog, Wikipedia, Farmer's Almanac Online, National Weather Service

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