Preparing your car before the cold snap

by chris sanders on 9th September 2011

BMW 5 Series

Now that autumn has well and truly set in, you should really start to think about gearing your car up for winter and making sure you have all of the winter safety essentials you will need to make it through the winter months. Depressing, we know, but it won’t be long before the weather gets colder, wetter and we start to see flurries of snow. If you prepare your car now with winter wheels, winter tyres and a snow emergency kit, you’ll have the peace of mind that you can travel safely should the weather take a turn.

Whilst winter wheels and tyres are much more effective in slushy and icy conditions, there’s a common misconception that winter wheels and tyres are just for use during snowy and icy weather. However, industry experts actually recommend that you use them when the weather drops below 7˚C which is generally from October to March.

Winter tyres work particularly well in adverse weather conditions because they have a different rubber compound to standard tyres. The silica-base mix ensures that the tyre stays soft at lower temperatures. They provide good grip and maximum traction on wet roads and are characterised by grooves (or sipes) in the tread blocks. It’s these sipes that grip in snowy weather and allow you to control your vehicle much better.

It’s worth noting that you should always change your winter tyres in summer, as standard tyres are much more suited to warmer months. Winter wheels should also be used with winter tyres. They are durable, very smooth and easy to clean. They also don’t have small rivets or multiple spokes that can collect dirt and mud. They are available in two varieties: steel or alloy and both have a number of benefits.

Winter steel wheels tend to be cheaper than alloy alternatives and smaller, so therefore safer. If you are worried about skidding and damaging your wheels during winter then perhaps these are the better option. Winter alloy wheels are much more aesthetically pleasing and are well suited to larger vehicles. If you want your car to look as good as possible then this is the option for you! By fitting winter wheels and tyres to your vehicle you are instantly making your car or van much safer on the road. However, you should always be careful whilst driving during the winter because other drivers may not be as prepared as you!

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Winterbanden September 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

In the netherlands the sales started alreday in the summer. the expactions are the tyres are sold out by autumn.

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