Winter is coming. No, really, it is. It seems like just a month ago it was September and 75 degrees out, but we all know New England weather can change in a hurry and it is best to prepare a little too early than a little too late. If you value your Toyota’s dependability, especially in the winter, than I suggest you do everything in your power to make sure your Toyota is equipped to properly handle the inclement weather by investing in a good set of winter tires.
You might be thinking why do I need a second set of tires when I have a perfectly good set right now? That is true, while you do have good tires to use right now; they weren’t all designed to handle the same weather conditions. The bottom line is that you need better grip and handling in bad weather. Winter tires are designed to stay soft and rubbery, even in freezing temperatures, allowing it to better grip the road or snowy surface. Winter tires also have specially designed tread patterns that allow water to easily escape from under the tire, instead of potentially slipping and gliding over it when using all weather tires. These may seem like such small changes to tires, but they most definitely work.
Are there any disadvantages to winter tires? Technically, yes. You just need to know when to properly use the tires and you will never have an issue. The issue with winter tires is that while they perform great in the snow, the same can’t be said for driving on solid asphalt for too long. Your winter tires must be taken off as soon as the snow and ice finally melts for the season, otherwise your tires as well as the asphalt can be ruined due to the excess grip.
Who needs winter tires?
Well this probably goes without saying, but anyone who lives where they are dominated by ice and snow for months out of the year, such as New England and the mid west states. Also, anyone who drives a 2 wheel or rear wheel drive vehicle is more susceptible to slipping due to the unbalance power of the tires. 4 wheel drive vehicles will always perform better than any 2-wheel drive, but it is recommended that all have a set of winter tires.
When do I need winter tires?
This is a very simple yet very important step. Pretty much as soon as you see a layer of snow on the ground is when you should put on your snow tires if you already have purchased them. If you have not, you should visit our tire center to get yours.
3 Types of Winter Tires
Depending on what type of car you have can depend on what type of winter tires you need. For the most part, you will either rely on studded or non-studded winter tires, which we will get to, but there is also another type for performance vehicles properly titled “performance winter tires”.
Performance Winter Tires
Performance winter tires allow enhanced vehicle responsiveness on snowy and icy roads for sport orperformance vehicles. This type does not generate as much traction as other due to the fact that they are for higher speed vehicles, but they are more practical than all-season tires.
Studded Winter Tires
These types of tires literally have metal studs that protrude from the tread of the tire and are designed to dig into the ice and snow to gain traction. Studded tires are great for the winter months, but are likewise awful on the asphalt during non-winter months.
Non-studded Winter Tires
Non-studded tires have become the modern and practical alternative to studded tires. Instead of relying on metal studs that can eat at the asphalt and ruin your tires, non-studded tires relies on a rubber compound that allows the rubber to stay soft flexible in cold weather to maintain traction on snowy and icy surfaces. Additionally, deeper tread and “sipes”, which are slits in the tread, allows water to be pushed out for better grip, leading to better stopping and starting.
If you have not purchased winter tires, now is the time to do so. Wellesley Toyota sells sells winter tires specifically for your Toyota, but you have to order them specially since we do not carry any in stock. Our most popular seller is the Bridgestone Blizzak and can cost aywhere from $125 to $200 depending on your vehicle and type of winter tires you choose. If you are unsure of what winter tires to buy, contact us by phone at 888-556-7538 for our service department, visit our location off route 9 in Wellesley or leave us a question or comment below!