Written by Sumit Das | August 5, 2021
Sometimes, you might be thinking of winter tyres as a wasteful expense. But have you considered that every time you drive your winter tyres, you are saving the life of your summer tyres? So over time, your total expense would not be all that high as you thought initially. Here are some tips that will help you in your winter tyre research and make decision-making easier.
If you live in a region that has a snowy winter, you might be familiar with the positive traction you get with a winter tyre and how it helps reduce the number of accidents that could have happened otherwise. Most insurance firms provide an added discount if you use winter Car Tyres online, which more or less covers the added expense you incur by purchasing winter tyres.
The first thing you would need for Winter tyre research is the tyre size, which can be found embossed on your tyre's sidewalls. It will also be printed on the edge striker/door frame of your vehicle and will consist of letters and numbers such as P215/55R16. Try to find tyre sizes that match the manufacturer’s spec label.
If you usually drive wide tread tyres or low-profile tyres, you should seriously consider changing to a different size for winter driving. In slush, snow, and on icy or wet surfaces, narrower tread gives you better control and traction. Check with a tyre retailer or service provider for proper advice. Often, a change in tyre size is accompanied by a change in the rim as well.
Experts recommend that it is much easier and better to have a separate set of rims for your winter tyres. This will save the wear and tear that happens during the seasonal tyre mounting and makes the seasonal tyre change less expensive.
The cheaper option is to go with steel wheels, typically costing between $200 and $400 a set, but the cons are heavy and do not have the best looks. Adding wheel covers is a way to make it look better, but this will add more weight. On the other hand, alloy wheels certainly look better and are better for handling and fuel economy due to being lighter.
Even though wheels come in various finishes (chrome, polished, painter, machined), it is advisable to use a fully painted wheel during winter. Alloy wheel costs vary in price depending on whether they are aftermarket or straight from the OEM (original equipment manufacturer). As a rule of thumb, the OEM wheels are of higher quality than the cheaper aftermarket wheels. Since OEM wheels are available for a long time through the dealer networks and supply chains, they will not become ‘unavailable’ in the future when you plan to change them.
Whether you use aluminium or steel wheels, having a proper fit is paramount to avoid handling issues, bearing wear, and vibration. Your best option is to go with OEM wheels. All too often, even when aftermarket wheels claim to be an exact fit, they mean that the wheels can be bolted on, but the offset and width may not be as precise as the OEM one. Most modern passenger vehicles have hub-centric rims where the wheel's center hole snugly fits over the wheel hub center projection. If the wheels are labeled lug-centric or not labeled hub-centric, it is recommended to avoid those altogether.
No matter which car tyres fitted you end up choosing, try to keep it clean during the winter season. It is a good practice to use high-pressure self-serve wash places instead of automated drive-through washes. Make sure to clean between the spokes and dry when you are ready to put the winter wheels away after use. Keep the wheels stored in a cool and dry place and never on a concrete surface.
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