Kerry Stover
Knox,  PA
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Winter Tires Really??

 Winter Tires:
   Winter is fast approaching again here in PA. The discussion of all four winter tires always comes up with our customers. We get the " it's my car and I have been running winter tires on one end since before you were born!" (Fewer of those these days I'm 58) to the "I guess, if you say so, but it sure seems like a rip to me."So what do you do?

 My personal experience has the shorter small car really having an issue with winter tires on the front drive end only. Especially the wide sixty five and wider series tires. Even with good all season tires on the back, they come around to meet the front easily with no warning when the roads are slippery. In the same token, I have noticed, the heavier cars tend to do much better under the same conditions. The rear tires obviously can't grip as well, but do not seem to come around quite as easily.

  That is my experience, but this amounts to a hill of beans when the customer is involved, your reputation, and lively hood could be at stake.

  So what are some of the facts:

Hardest one to get across - SLOW DOWN! I don't care if you have four wheel drive studded tires on. There is only so much tire making contact with the road surface. 

  1. Another major factor: all season tire compounds are a compromise at best. They can't get high mileage, quiet ride, and survive summer heat and have good traction in cold conditions. In fact the compound may get harder as temperatures go down.
  2. Tread wear: Most radial tires lose grip, especially in snow, as the tread depth diminishes. Making the all season tire a problem if you are wading snow.
  3. Traction Control: Great Automatic invention? My drive way is not that long, but is rather steep. I can come up it with my two wheel drive truck with little issue. Our front wheel drive car has traction control. The TC will actually slow the car to the point I get stalled part way up. After backing up, I turn the TC off and try again. Go's right up the drive every time.
  4. Do winter tires get old: Yes, with age the compound can get hard and provide less traction.Four Winter Tires: Hate to admit it, But yes four winter tires are the best all around choice for winter conditions here in northern country.
  5. Wheel Alignment: I have been asked if a wheel alignment is needed when installing winter tires. In most instances no, but as seems to be with all automotive rules, there is always the exception. Note the tire wear as the best indicator.

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 (814) 319-6197 or Text

 6845 Rt. 208
Knox, PA, 16232
United States
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