Thinking About Winter Tires?

Winter tires

By October many of our customers are stopping by to have winter tires (also called snow tires) put on their vehicles. If you’re familiar with winter tires, then you’re probably used to this seasonal task. If you’re less familiar with winter tires, you may be wondering what they are and why you’d switch to them for the winter months.

New to the Idea of swapping out Tires?

Many people have vehicles that have tires that usually suffice in the winter. Depending on where you live, the type of driving you do, and your vehicle,  your all season tires are designed to handle a wide range of uses and may suffice. But, all season tires are not the same as winter tires. All season tires are popular in the US, likely because many areas of the country can get by with them year round.

However, Minnesota is not your average, moderate climate state. We have extremely hot and humid summers, and we have erratic winters and storms. When you use an all season tire, that was designed to be a compromise of desired tire properties, you’re getting just that; a compromise. It’s comparable to buying a nice fleece jacket that works well in all seasons for MOST parts of the country. A fleece jacket isn’t going to cut it on a 30 degree below zero day in January with a 40 mile per hour north wind gust. Some vehicles that have 60 series tires or less should have four snow tires put on for better driving in winter conditions; stop in and have a conversation with us. You can’t expect a tire to optimally handle snow, slush, and ice when it wasn’t designed to do that. Winter tires are your best choice for traction and control of your vehicle. It’s not advisable that you use them year-round, however, and will need to switch back to your all season tires or previous “warmer season” tires. 

We typically recommend Nitto snow tires because of their tread design and affordable pricing. When winter tires makes sense for you and your vehicle, you have two options. You can use your regular wheels and swap tires at the beginning and end of the season, or you can have a separate set of wheels and tires that you swap out. Either way, you want to make sure you properly store your tires when they are not on your vehicle. You want them protected from corrosion, and our tire technicians can give you tips to get the most out of your tires.

Not sure what this means, stop by and we can help you decide if winter tires are right for you and your vehicle. 

 

 

Before the Snow Flies

winter tires snow tiresIt’s early October, but Denver, Colorado is already getting snow. We all know that winter weather will arrive in Minnesota in just a few short weeks. It won’t stay at first, but those first few flurries will throw everyone in to frenzy. Make sure your vehicle and tires are ready before the snow flies.

Winter Tires

Winter tires, also called snow tires are made to handle snow and ice packed roads. They are designed to provide the best grip possible under the craziest winter conditions we all seem to find ourselves driving in at some point. Are winter tires something you should consider for your vehicle and typical winter driving? Stop in and see us at either our Anoka or Bloomington location, and we’ll help you figure it out. We want you to have the safest driving possible this upcoming winter.  Even if you decide not to put winter tires on your vehicle, we can check over your tires to make sure they are in the best condition possible and alert you to any concerns. Stop in and see us today!

A Sunny Day is the Best Day to Install Snow Tires

Why on Earth is a sunny day the best day to install snow tires? Snow tires don’t offer any benefits if they aren’t on your car prior to poor winter driving conditions. If you wait until a significant snow fall to put new tires on your car or swap out your tires for snow tires, you’ll be in the company of many other procrastinators. Why make your day even more hectic by sliding around on the road and squeezing in a tire appointment?

We’ve enter the season in Minnesota where one hour can be drastically different than the next. Take advantage of the nice, sunny weather and get your tire errand done. It is more likely your wait time will be shorter and you’ll get the time with our tire specialists to ask questions and shop for what you need without worrying about getting home before the weather worsens.

Winter Driving Problems

winter driving problemsSome people love the snow. Others dread it. All Midwesterners have to deal with it at some point. Unless we want to stay cooped up in our houses for four months, we’re forced to drive in winter weather conditions.

Many winter driving problems can be avoided or lessened with proper preparation. Here are some tips to help you avoid or deal with undesirable winter driving problems:

  • Check your tire condition now. Check for proper tread, proper inflation, and any other issues like bulges or uneven wearing. If you’re not sure how to do this, stop by and we’ll take a look.
  • Get your oil changed, tires rotated, and other general maintenance done. Winter is NOT the time to gamble with your vehicle running well.
  • Talk to a tire specialist at the TireZoo about whether snow (winter) tires are a good option for you.
  • Have winter gear in your vehicle and be prepared for a situation where you’d be stalled for a while on the side of the road.
  • Never go anywhere, especially at night or in stormy conditions without someone knowing that you’re traveling and which route you’re taking.
  • Keep your phone charged and a charger with you, but don’t assume your phone will work when you need it.
  • At the first indication of trouble, pull your car off the road and away from other traffic.
  • Alert oncoming traffic that you’re there, especially if visibility is pour. Use your hazard lights or reflector triangles behind your vehicle.
  • In the case of a flat tire, call a tow truck unless you know how to change the tire and have all the necessary items to change the tire and keep yourself safe and warm while doing so.
  • Calling 911 is always an option if you are worried about your safety, have children in the car, and your situation is hazardous.

Snow Tires vs All Season Tires

snow tires vs all season tiresIf you live in Minnesota, you know that winter driving conditions are as random as rolling dice. One day it’s sunny and dry, and the next day you’re asking your passenger to help you see the white line to keep you from driving into the ditch. Winter is on all our minds, as we wonder what mother nature has in store for us this year.

Living in Minnesota means you can benefit greatly from using snow tires, and here’s why. Snow tires (or winter tires as many refer to them as) are designed for the purpose of handling better on snow covered, snow compacted, and ice coated roads. It’s engineered to provide the best grip possible under the worst conditions, including a wide range of precipitation and extreme cold temperatures. If these conditions seem much too familiar, then you need to consider the use of snow tires this season and the added safety and security they offer.

Snow Tires vs All Season Tires: What’s the Difference?

Yes, your all season tires are terrific and designed to handle a wide range of uses. But, all season tires are not the same as snow tires. All season tires are popular in the US, likely because many areas of the country can get by with them year round. Minnesota is not your average, moderate climate state. We have extremely hot and humid summers, and we have winters that can knock your socks off. When you use an all season tire, that was designed to be a compromise of desired tire properties, you’re getting just that; a compromise. It’s comparable to buying a nice fleece jacket that works well in all seasons for MOST parts of the country. A fleece jacket isn’t going to cut it on a 30 degree below day in January with a 40 mile per hour north wind gust.

The same goes for your all season tires. You can’t expect a tire to optimally handle snow, slush, and ice when it wasn’t designed to do that. Snow tires are your best choice for traction and control of your vehicle.It’s not advisable that you use snow tires year round, however, and will need to switch back to your all season tires or previous “warmer season” tires.

If you are unsure if snow tires are right for your vehicle, driving habits, and/or geographical location, contact the TireZoo today. We can review some key questions with you to make sure you have the best tires for your situation.

How exactly do snow tires work?

Watch this video for further explanation.

When and Why to Put Snow Tires on Your Vehicle

snow tires mnWould snow tires help you this winter?

Snow tires are a thing of the past and present, and are still used faithfully by those whose vehicles benefit from using snow tires. The confusion seems to have more to do with people whose vehicles already have tires that usually suffice in the snowy road conditions. This means that some vehicles that have 60 series tires or less should have four snow tires put on for better driving in winter conditions. This is a good way to prepare for the winter ahead.

What kind of snow tires do we recommend? While you have plenty of options, we recommend Nitto snow tires because of their tread design and affordable pricing. When snow tires makes sense for you and your vehicle, you have two options. You can use your regular wheels and swap tires at the beginning and end of the season, or you can have a separate set of wheels and tires that you swap out. Either way, you want to make sure you properly store your tires when they are not on your vehicle. You want them protected from corrosion, and our tire technicians can give you tips to get the most out of your tires.

Still confused whether or not you would benefit from a set of snow tires? Just stop by either of our locations in Anoka or Bloomington, and we’ll take a look. Don’t forget to check out our current tire coupons online too!

Planning a trip to Minnesota this winter? Check out our previous blog post if you’re wondering about MN roads in the winter and driving conditions.