With winter upon us it’s time to start thinking about any changes you need to make to your vehicle so it can cope in the colder weather. Although we don’t reach some of the drastic temperatures seen in Europe and America, where it is compulsory after a certain time of year to have winter tyres, it is advisable to ensure you’re ready for all possibilities.

This winter looks set to be wetter than it is cold but that shouldn’t stop you from looking into winter tyres. They have a tread rubber compound with high silica content and a snowflake design in the tread – which makes it easier for them to grip in lower temperatures. Despite our usual lack of snow these tyres also make it much easier to drive in very wet conditions, and not only improve the grip but the handling and ride of the car as well.

Winter tyres are admittedly most affective on rear wheel drive cars as they improve all areas of performance but most notably the braking and traction. If you own a front wheel drive car though, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in some winter tyres as they still have a considerable improvement in the braking and grip of the road.

Given that our country grinds to a halt at the mere mention of snow it would be advisable to have winter tyres available to you in case we do experience a sprinkling of the white stuff. With winter tyres, driving through snow has been likened to driving in wet conditions; showing just how effective these tyres can be.

If you’re not prepared to invest in winter tyres just yet there are other things you can do to ensure your tyres are ready for winter. Firstly, have your car serviced for winter – by doing this you can ensure that a professional agrees you should be able to drive well in all conditions. Check that your tyres have a deep tread or at least a tread that is road legal; the deeper your tread, the more grip your car will have in bad weather. Lastly check that you have the correct air pressure in your tyres. This can seriously affect how your car handles so ensuring you have the optimum pressure is essential.

Stephen Jury


November 27, 2012