The easiest way to prepare your vehicle for winter weather conditions is by investing in a full set of winter tires. While replacing your tires seems like an unnecessary expense, worn-out tires become especially dangerous during winter months as snow and ice accumulate on roadways. Already this winter, residents of Oregon have confronted frigid temperatures and extensive storms featuring high-speed wind gusts and record-breaking levels of snowfall. Now that we have reached one of the coldest months of the year, properly preparing your vehicle with winter tires has become absolutely crucial for ensuring your safety and the safety of other motorists.
At different points throughout the year, you should replace your tires to accommodate changing weather conditions. Summer tires, also referred to as performance tires, consist of a soft rubber fitted with large treads to provide maximum contact with the road. As temperatures drop, this rubber hardens and substantially reduces the ability of the tires to gain necessary traction. Cold temperatures can also cause the tread block edge to chip or the rubber to crack. Even in dry conditions, summer tires do not provide sufficient grip during temperatures under 45 degrees Fahrenheit, drastically lengthening stopping distances and seriously hindering your ability to make sharp turns.
When the temperatures begin dropping near the 45 degrees mark, you should replace your summer tires with winter tires. They are constructed of a rubber specifically designed to offer more traction in cold temperatures and feature a deep tread pattern that helps clear excess build-up of snowy slush. Across the tread are tiny, thin slits called sipes, which increase the tire’s ability to conform to small variations in the road surface. This provides more contact with the road and stronger traction. In wet conditions, sipes disrupt the build-up of water in front of treads that can cause hydroplaning by directing the water to the tires’ sides. In winter weather, sipes help pack snow into the spaces between the tread blocks, providing better traction during cornering, accelerating, and braking.
It may seem like a hassle or an unnecessary expense to replace your tires in the winter, but remember that this isn’t doubling the cost. It’s actually cutting the wear on your tires in half. If you are ready to improve the safety of your vehicle by replacing your summer tires with winter tires, schedule an appointment with us today by calling (541) 482-8162 or filling out the form on our website.