If you are one of the many Americans who lives in the Great Lakes region, you are probably no stranger to driving in 6+ inches of snow. People from this region can generally anticipate considerable snow accumulation from December through February. In areas like Madison, Wisconsin, average yearly snowfall is 50+ inches. Due to the frequency of harsh weather conditions, many people that live in these areas switch to winter tires around November or December.
Winter Tire Difference
The majority of new cars purchased come with stock, all-season tires. An all-season tire is created to be able to drive in wet, dry, cold, or hot conditions. They are considered a jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none in the auto tire world. For the majority of drivers, all-season tires require the least amount of planning.
Winter tires, on the other hand, are made with different tread patterns than regular tires. Winter tires are made with softer material. The winter tire material is more flexible, which allows for better grip on snowy roads. The traction gained allows for increased steering control and better braking capability. Many traction stability features in new cars can only work if tires can grip the road.
One misconception about winter tires is that they will work correctly when they are only placed as the drive wheels of the car. This can be confusing because many people are aware that they need to add extra weight to the back of rear wheel drive cars to increase traction. Unfortunately, when only two tires are replaced, the lack of grip to the other tires will create a complete lack of traction to the opposite end and cause a vehicle to either spin-out or become unresponsive to steering. If you are going to utilize winter tires, purchase and install a full set. Make sure that you switch the tires back when the temperature climbs, typically in March or April.
When making a car donation, decide if you want to keep your winter tires or all-seasons. If you do decide that you want to keep the tires that are on your car donation, make sure that you make arrangements before your vehicle is picked up or dropped off. If your car donation is being picked up, make sure that whichever set of tires is on the car are installed properly. Be sure to choose a dedicated charity to donate to.