According to weather forecasts, the winter at the turn of 2021 and 2022 is expected to be especially snowy and frosty, which means that motorists will have more trouble. Road trips in such weather are a risky business.
We have prepared a large project with answers to the most frequent questions of motorists about winter tires and driving on icy roads.
If the average daily temperature is set at +5 degrees outside, this is the surest sign that you will soon have to change your car's shoes. This is due to the fact that at outdoor temperatures below +5 degrees during the day and at night, summer tires are no longer so effective due to the peculiarities of their composition.
For uniform tire wear (the intensity of tire wear depends on the drive of the car: front-wheel drive - intensive wear of the tires of the front axle, rear-wheel drive - intensive wear of the tires of the rear axle) should be periodically swapped. To determine tire wear, manufacturers apply a special designation to the tread, the abrasion of which means that it is time to change the tire (new tire - 8 mm, wear limit for winter tires - 4 mm).
- for tires with a non-directional tread pattern: the left front wheel is placed in the place of the left rear, the right front - in the right rear, the left rear - in the right front, the right rear - in the left front;
- for tires with a directional tread pattern: the left front wheel is placed in the place of the left rear, the right front - in the right rear, the left rear - in the left front, the right rear - in the right front.
'Glue sticky' is commonly called non-studded tires, which are also called friction tires. Grip with the road is provided by a softer composition of the rubber compound and special slotted lamellas on the surface, which, in combination with the tread pattern, allow the tire to confidently cling to a road covered with packed snow and asphalt flooded with reagents.
Velcro tires are divided into two main types - "European" and "Scandinavian," the main differences between which are the tread pattern and the softness of the rubber compound. "European" friction tires have a less aggressive tread pattern and a smooth transition of the tread to the sidewall - this design is more effective in mild winters with little snow. "Scandinavian" Velcro with its rough tread pattern, numerous small lamella cuts, a pronounced transition from tread to sidewall, and a softer compound work well in hard frost on snowy and ice-covered roads.
The answer to this question can only be given by taking into account the conditions in which the vehicle is operated. Non-stick tires due to the composition of the rubber mixture and tread pattern are most effective in a wide range of temperatures on surfaces with low traction, whether it is ice or wet roads (that is, in large cities, where roads are cleaned and treated with reagents).
Technically it is possible, but such manipulations do not make any sense. Factory studded tires have their own composition of rubber compound, their own tread pattern, which are adapted to the studs, and the design of studs, places and technology of their installation are optimized for the design of a particular tire.
For a long time, the traffic rules contained a requirement for drivers who used studded tires: vehicles had to have a "Sh" sign on them to warn surrounding drivers.
When choosing a tire size, refer to your vehicle's owner's manual. Manufacturers clearly state the permissible tire size for a particular vehicle model. Within the prescribed parameters, you can choose. Wider tires are better on dry asphalt or ice because they have a larger contact patch, while narrower tires provide more surface pressure and therefore perform better in snow.
There are rubber "hairs" on every tire due to the peculiarities of the technological process - these rubber surpluses remain after the rubber mixture leaves the mold during the vulcanization process. During use, these "hairs" quickly wear off and become invisible. It is not a defect and does not pose any threat to safety, so you should not pay attention to it at all - tires without "bristles" simply do not exist.
Few drivers guess about the necessity of running in a new set of winter tires to extend their service life. Ideally, a new set of studded tires should be installed on a car when it is still dry and cool, so that it would be possible to drive at least 500 km on asphalt pavement in a quiet mode - at a speed of 70-80 km/h, without sudden acceleration and braking, without sudden maneuvers, and preferably on a level road. After that, the spikes properly "sit" in their seats, providing a few seasons of reliable and safe driving. Non-spiked tires also need running-in, but it will be enough to quietly drive 100 km.
Tires need to be replaced if:
Tires directly affect safety while driving, so it is important to be sure that they are reliable. It is impossible to check how used tires have been stored and whether they have been damaged, so it is better not to buy them by hand. Used tires should always be preferred to new ones: they will definitely be safer and more efficient on the road.
During the visit to the tire service, make sure that the wheels are balanced - it is worth doing it either once a year or at the seasonal change of the tires. It is important to make sure that the tires are mounted correctly: with directional tread pattern, you must be guided by the rotation direction arrow, and with asymmetric pattern you must not mix up the outer and inner sides of the tire.
If you do not change your tires yourself, but at a tire shop, you may be forced to pay for additional services that you do not really need at all. In a situation where you keep an eye on the condition of your car and understand the condition of your wheels and tires, do not be tempted to clean the hubs, replace the fasteners and wheel valves, or straighten the rims. If the tire shop employee cannot clearly demonstrate the problem, it may be a trivial scam for money.
The rules of the road do not require you to have a seasonal tire on your spare tire, but much depends on the nature of your journeys. If you mainly travel in the city, where in the case of damaged tires you can either walk to a tire repair shop or call a tow truck, you can leave a summer tire.
Asymmetric and directional tires have a special tread pattern. Normal tires have a completely mirror-like tread pattern, so they can be mounted on any wheel. Asymmetric tyres have a different tread pattern (and cord structure) on the inside and outside of the wheels and must be mounted correctly on the vehicle. When mounting directional tires, it is important to follow the direction of rotation that is usually indicated by an arrow on the sidewall.
We have prepared a large project with answers to the most frequent
questions of motorists about winter tires and driving on icy roads.