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Most drivers have long decided for themselves that in winter they need to drive only on winter tires. However, there are those who still have doubts. They believe that since the roads in the city are cleaned, then you don't have to "change your shoes", and our winters do not seem to be very harsh. Also, various myths about winter tires contribute to the reluctance to "change shoes". Let's dispel some of them.
The larger the size and width of winter tires, the better. This statement can be attributed to summer tires, because the car really gets some advantage in handling when the size of tires (not disks!) performance changes are minor, and on wet asphalt and loose snow, wide tires are more prone to aquaplaning than narrow ones. The tires will float and the treads will not be able to grasp the road surface.
Studded tires will save you from any winter troubles. No studded tires can guarantee safety if the driver does not follow the traffic rules and speed limits. Studded tires in comparison with non-studded ones have an advantage only in icy conditions and on rolled snow. If the roads are cleaned and sprinkled with salt, the grip properties of studded tires will not improve, but will remain the same as those of non-studded tires, if not worse.
Studded tires are worse than friction tires. Another option: frictional ones are worse than studded ones. All tires are good in their own way. Non-studded winter tires have good performance in terms of noise, handling, they are economical, lighter, more durable, have less rolling resistance, and usually provide good traction. Studded tires outperform non-studded ones in terms of stopping distance: on ice - from 20% to 50%, on snow - 5-10%, on asphalt, on the contrary, braking distance may increase, but insignificantly (by 5%). When starting and accelerating, a car with "spikes" wins up to 30% on ice and up to 10% on snow. Therefore, when choosing winter tires, you need to decide on which roads you will drive the most and put on the right tires.
If the car has all-season tires, then there is no need to "change shoes". In fact, there are no universal tires. All-season tires represent a compromise between summer and winter. Their tread pattern (in comparison with winter ones) has a shallower depth, it is less sparse. And the rubber compound is not that soft. These tires are good enough on dry and wet asphalt. They provide fairly good grip properties, are economical and comfortable. But on ice, loose and rolled snow, it is not worth demanding from them high cross-country ability and good grip properties. The stability, handling and braking performance of all-season tires on a winter road is average. And winter tires are specially designed for operation in low temperatures, in mud, on ice and snow. All-season tires have 25% less grip on snow and 40% less on ice than studded tires.
If I have an SUV (or 4x4 vehicle), then winter tires are not needed. Four-wheel drive will not provide reliable traction on ice and snow if the car is equipped with summer tires. This is especially true for braking when there is no particular design difference. A four-wheel drive car is less predictable on a winter road than a one-wheel drive one, so it is necessary to put winter tires on such a car for better handling.
It is enough to put winter tires on the drive axle only. All tires must be the same regardless of the drive. If you install winter tires only on the front wheels, then the risk of skidding will increase several times. If you put winter tires only on the rear axle, then the braking distance will increase, and there is also a risk of the front axle falling off into sliding, which is worse than a rear axle skid, since it is much more difficult to deal with it.
Winter tires do not perform well at high speeds. In the last 5-10 years, the speed performance of winter tires has improved significantly, modern winter tires provide a high level of handling even at high speeds. Tires have a speed index, which is indicated by letters, and means to what maximum speed they can be accelerated: Q - up to 160 km / h; T - 190 km / h; H - 210 km / h; V - 240 km / h; W - up to 270 km / h. Winter tires provide the highest level of handling, even at these high speeds. have a special composition and tread pattern.
Winter tires are expensive. The price of winter tires in most cases depends on the size and manufacturer. And in fact, winter tires are not much more expensive than summer tires. Winter tires can be a great buy because by using winter tires you extend the life of summer tires. Winter tires are operated at lower speeds than summer tires, and in the cold season, so they last much longer than summer tires, on average 3-4 seasons. By the way, the purchase of an additional set of disks can save you from the need for seasonal "change of shoes" at the tire fitting.