If you’re planning on doing a lot of travel in icy, snowy conditions this winter, you may be wondering: “what is the difference between snow tires and snow chains?” Knowing the benefits of each winter tire solution will help you make the best decision on how to equip your car for maximum traction and safety.
The Benefits of Snow Tires
Most snow tires look much like your average set of tires. As the name suggests, snow tires are designed for wintry, icy conditions. Let’s look at the benefits of snow tires.
Materials and Design
Snow tires have superior traction than summer or all-purpose tires due to the materials used. They stay soft and pliable even in cold weather.
Snow tires are designed to maximize traction in wet or slippery conditions. Winter tires generally have wider tread gaps than those used on summer tires. The tires themselves are designed to increase the amount of contact between the snow and the tire while minimizing slippage.
One of the most important parts of winter driving is the ability to brake. Snow and ice exponentially increase the amount of distance required to bring a vehicle to a full stop.
To make things more complicated, vehicles can slide on ice and snow even if the wheels themselves have stopped rotating. Snow tires give your car superior handling and braking abilities in order to minimize the potential for losing control of your car in difficult weather.
Snow tires may also feature metal studs that protrude from the rubber where the treads touch the road. This feature improves traction but can damage roadways, so you’ll need to check with your county or city jurisdiction to see what the rules are about studs in tires before you buy. Your local tire shop will also be familiar with the regulations in your area.
One of the best benefits of snow tires is the fact that regularly changing out your all-purpose or summer tires can help prolong the lifespan of each set of tires. The upfront cost may be high, but you won’t have to change your tires as often, reducing the amount of money spent on tires in the long run.
The Benefits of Snow Chains
Snow chains are specially-designed lengths of chain that fit securely over the tires and wheels of your car. Snow chains are also sometimes called tire cables.
Good Handling in Deep Snow
Snow chains are second to none when it comes to driving in deep snow. They have great traction and can get you through difficult weather without too much trouble.
Temporary Use Friendly
If you aren’t planning on driving in snowy weather regularly, such as if you are traveling through the mountains or a snowy region to your destination, tire chains are easy to put on.
Tire chains are ideal for temporary use instead of having to equip another set of tires, not to mention having to find a place to store that set too.
Extreme Weather Capable
Snow chains are usually intended for the most extreme winter driving conditions, especially if you’re planning to do mountain or off-road driving this winter. For outdoors enthusiasts, having a set of tire chains on hand can help you keep from getting stuck in the snow.
However, it’s important to note that tire chains are not always allowed depending on where you are driving.
Schedule Your Winter Weather Tune-Up at T3 Atlanta
T3 Atlanta recommends having an annual winter car inspection and tune-up before the weather gets below freezing. If you haven’t had your winter car maintenance yet, make an appointment today. We are Lexus, Toyota, Infiniti, and Nissan specialists with convenient locations in Smyrna and Decatur.