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Do you need Winter tires?

from Brodbeck Porter Insurance Agency

Dec 2, 2014

You know it’s coming. Snow and slush. Freezing rain. Maybe even black ice. But do you know if your tires are ready for all of that?

When driving in Ohio in the wintertime, your tires just might be the most important safety feature on your car. The right ones can get you to your destination safely. The wrong ones? Well, just look over in the ditch during the next storm.

So how do you figure out what’s best for your vehicle? Here are five things to know about winter tires:

1. Effectiveness depends on you
Deciding whether winter tires are right for you depends on several personal factors. For instance, motorists should evaluate how comfortable they feel operating their vehicles throughout the season, as well as what types of safety features are already installed on their cars.

"The bottom line for consumers is being aware of the severe winter driving conditions they might face," said Steve Rohweder of Goodyear. "Based on past experiences, do they feel their winter weather is moderate enough to choose a year-round tire, or are they mandated to use winter tires? Or do they face sometimes severe winter weather, and they prefer the peace of mind offered by true winter tires?"

2. They can help any vehicle
Even those cars with all- or four-wheel drive can benefit from specialized tires. They are designed to increase your control of the vehicle by providing better traction - an act that is not aided by features that improve steering or braking. Instead of relying on just one of these systems, let them work together to put you in the safest situation possible. Investing in brake repair and other upgrades as well as winter tires can enhance the all-around performance of your car and prepare you for all types of weather.

3. Install them before winter
You shouldn't wait until the first snow to install your winter tires. For one, you want to give yourself enough time to get used to them should your car drive slightly differently on dry roads. Secondly, you don't want to risk an early storm arriving and wreaking havoc on your vehicle. That's why Livingston Daily recommended buying and installing these tires now. The source reported that some manufacturers only produce a limited amount, so it is important to purchase while supplies last.

4. Buy the full set
Some drivers may be tempted to cut costs by only purchasing two tires instead of all four. However, mixing different types of tires can lead to subpar driving performance, as the wheels will have varying levels of wear and tear, as well as traction. That can greatly impact the driving experience and overall handling of the vehicle - and it may even lead to safety problems. Avoid this altogether by purchasing the full set of four winter wheels.

5. Don't stop there
Winter tires are a smart investment, but installing them isn't the only thing you should be doing to get ready for the season. Be sure to schedule an auto tune up for your car at a reputable auto repair franchise before it's too late. A professional may be able to spot any potential problems and fix them in a timely manner.

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