Get to Know Winter Tires and Types

By | April 16, 2014

Winter is time when you find it difficult to drive unless you equip your car with winter tires. This is because it is difficult to get enough traction on a snow surface. Therefore, you need fit your car with tires designed exclusively for winter. Snow tires are designed specially for use in cold weather, snow and ice. For vehicles to move easily in snow, a good amount of traction is essential. But traction reduces with more grip. Winter tires designed to have more sipes because of this. Another common feature of the winter tires is the metal studs. These studs comprise of a hard pin. The pin is often made of tungsten (wolfram) carbide, a hard material.

Types of winter tires:

a) Performance snow tires
For a snow tire to perform better in terms of speed and control, it is very important to have a good traction. But if traction has to be increased, grip should be decreased. Performance snow tires increase traction at the cost of grip. Performance snow tires provide added responsiveness and thus good maneuverability to the driver. These tires have higher speed rated standards to give the vehicles added traction in cold conditions. However, it not the strongest snow tire, because both studded and stud less winter tires outperform this in terms of durability.

b) Studded snow tires
Studded snow tires contain studs on the surface of the tire. The studs are normally made of tungsten. For the studded tires to perform, the studs have to protrude from the surface for about 1.5 mm. Studded tires give the best in terms of traction among all types of winter tires. But it has a very reduced comfort due to less riding smoothness and noise.
Studded tires are banned or brought under restrictions in many places. This is because, when they are used on proper roads, cause a good deal of damage to the road surface. It is banned in some places, while in some places there is a yearly time limit for its usage.

c) Stud less snow tires
These tires were introduced in the 1990s. Instead of using metal studs, they are made of a softer rubber than other winter tires. This rubber has tiny pores which provide grip to the ground thus compensating for the absence of metal studs. In stud less tires, the contact area of the tire to the ground is maximum and therefore it increases grip and traction on the ice. Stud less tires also have an open tread pattern to make it easy to move through slush.