During the winter, car maintenance becomes even more important. Winter driving presents some challenges because roads can be slippery and other conditions like snow and hail can make it dangerous to drive. This is why it’s essential to check the car and make sure that everything is in working order, especially the tires. The tires should be in tip top condition to counter the effects of muddy and snowy terrains. Let’s look at winter driving in more detail. Snow tires are denoted by the symbol of a peaked mountain with a snow flake in it.

Winter Tires:

For drivers with good winter driving experience, they would understand the importance of winter tires. Owing to the softer texture, winter tires make a huge difference on muddy and snowy terrains. Winter tires are designed to increase the efficiency of road grip and to prevent the car from slipping. When the temperature drops below the freezing point, the snow gets slushy, making the roads even more dangerous. This is why it’s important to get snow tires. All-Season tires, also known as M+S tires, are designed to handle a wide range of terrains. This implies that M+S tires are not as well equipped to exclusively handle winter road conditions as well snow tires. While All-Season tires are longer lasting however they are not recommended for icy and snowy road conditions. Snow tires have a higher percentage of natural silica and rubber in the compound, unlike all season tires which have a higher percentage of synthetic rubber in the compound. Another feature of snow tires is the small-tread areas which allow water to escape more easily. For these reasons, snow tires offer better traction in colder temperatures.

  • Winter Tires: Great information on various types of winter tires.
  • Winter Safety: Find out how winter tires can increase driving safety in the winter.

Rear Wheel Drive vs. Front Wheel Drive:

Other than snow tires, another important factor in safe winter driving is the matter of rear wheel drive (RWD) and front wheel drive (FWD). For some time, FWD vehicles have enjoyed a surge in popularity in comparison to rear wheel drive vehicles. It’s not difficult to see why when people consider the superiority of FWD vehicles in handling winter road conditions. When a FWD vehicle slips, the vehicle would usually stay in line. When RWD vehicles slip, the pushing rear wheels would slip, causing the rear end of the car to swing. While RWD vehicles are better for normal road conditions, FWD vehicles are certainly the safer bet during winters. FWD also features a transverse engine rather than conventional engine arrangement found in a rear wheel drive and four wheel drive. In most FWD layouts, the front engine is transversely and longitudinally mounted. FWD vehicles require linear as well as lateral traction, especially on the rear wheels, preventing loss of control and spin-out. In winter conditions where there’s low traction such as snow, mud, wet tarmac or gravel, FWD is safer. It’s also important to have the same tire mounted on all the wheels. The primary reason is to maintain uniform diameter and size for all the four tires. If there is a difference in size between the tires, the axle would rotate inconsistently, causing the transfer case to bind. This would have a direct effect on the traction of the vehicle, especially on slippery winter surfaces.

  • Technology: The article highlights some of the winter driving technology.
  • FWD vs. RWD: A look at the advantages and disadvantages of RWD and FWD.
  • Tires: Offers a lot of useful information on tires.

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