So far out of grade school, you’re probably wondering why you need to memorize some technical terms. Trust me, if you know how to communicate your needs to a tire salesman, the less likely it is for him/her to bully you into buying something you don’t need.
Long story short, do you need tires for winter, summer or all-season?
I would recommend buying tires for all-season, especially if you have two-wheel drive. If you are seriously concerned about driving through snow, however, you may want to buy tires specifically-designed to handle the season.
Determine whether you need 4- or 2WD tires, then start to think about what kind of terrain you will be driving in this season.
When purchasing tires, it doesn’t hurt to sound a little technically-savvy. Tell the mechanic that you need tires with large lugs in the tread pattern and large voids between the lugs, so that snow and debris floating around the surface of the street can slip through the grooves in your tires and ultimately keep your tires clean.
If you plan on driving through snow or ice, you will want to look for tires with sipes or small grooves cut into the surface of the tire. These cuts will increase traction, giving you a better grip on the road.
The void ratio is the space between lugs. The lower the void ratio, the higher the amount of surface area your tire will have.
Tread designs vary, but you want to make sure you have enough tread to get through the coming months, regardless of what month it is. It is recommended that you check your tire pressure and the tread depth before you get into your vehicle–every time.
If you have any questions about how to winterize your vehicle, find me on Twitter.