The temperature dropped and snow point the tip of his nose? It is time to adapt your car to these changes in the weather to be sure you can drive it to the end of winter. But between snow tires, the studded chains and socks, what should we choose? Here are some answers...
The winter tire is effective when the temperature regularly falls below 7 ° C. It adapts to all weather snowing, raining or freezing. In fact, winter tires are made of a softer rubber compound that does not harden, even at very low temperatures. Unlike tires summer, winter ones improve the elasticity of their rubber below 7 ° C.
This flexible permanent rubber increases grip on snow and ice tires. Moreover, the sculpture of this type of tire is much notched. The design of the tread is composed of a multitude of grooves and many slats V. These differences from the summer tire improve traction, or grip the snow evacuation.
These tires easily adapt to changes in winter weather.
They have good traction, grip and good braking.
These tires also reduce the risk of aquaplaning. Disadvantages: Above 7 ° C, winter tires wear out much more quickly and lose their benefits. For reasons of safety and conduct, it is advisable to mount them by 4, (your life is worth two extra tires!).
Another downside is the cost of assembly / dis-assembly, which are held twice a year if you alternate with summer tires.
Maintenance: After each winter, it is imperative to properly clean and store the tires in order to increase their longevity and their performance. There is a technique that avoids lot of damage. When tires remain outside for several weeks, their gum hardens. This harmful effect can also be accompanied by cracking. First, it is advisable to rinse and dry the tires to remove any corrosion. Then you have to remove stones and other debris stuck in the grooves. Once the tires clean, they must be removed from the vehicle to be stored vertically. If they are mounted on wheels, they lie flat. In all cases, the tires should be placed in a dark, ventilated, dry and free of toxic chemicals that may degrade the rubber. For those who n have no garage, specialized dealer networks have proposed storing tires. This service provides care for your winter tires and summer until next season that is to say six months.
Studded tires are mainly used in cold climates where snow is present. They are optimized for zero temperatures and icy surfaces. Equipped with metal spikes, it is thanks to them that these extreme snow tires have good traction on snowy or icy.
Advantages: Studded tires are ideal if you live in mounting where snow is abundant. With nails, your car behaves very well on ice and snow.
Disadvantages: The nails are not conducive to driving on the open road or wet. Under these conditions and beyond the noise they make, erase these wear out quickly and hang worst road in the rain because of the metal.
The snow socks are used in case of light snow. They do not replace the chains that are essential for a certain amount of snow. They are made of polyester fibers. This fabric absorbs water that comes between the snow and the tire and then optimizes road holding. The use of snow socks is simple. Once the car parked on a flat road and the handbrake should be put on gloves to avoid getting dirty. Then, on the two front wheels, install the socks from the top down on the tire stretching the elastic beyond the tread of the tire.
Then just pull the orange strips in order to adjust properly until the face is centered. Finally, move the car so that the sock is put in place properly.
Advantages: The socks have a practical advantage; they are easy to put on. Editing is simpler than the chains, there are no hooks, but a cover and it is possible to drive faster than 50 km / h. They coexist well with the majority of electronic aids such as ABS, the ESP or AWD. The sizes of socks suitable for many vehicles (14R13 to 235/45R18)
Disadvantages: They are less effective than snow chains in case of snow especially on winding roads and mountain (ineffective on slopes greater than 5% ). The snow socks are also quite fragile and wear out quickly (lifetime of 20 km on average). Maintenance: After each use, it is advisable to wash the socks to rinse the salt that attacks the tissues.
Unlike other products, snow chains may become mandatory during heavy snowfall or when the road was not plowed. There are several types of snow chains and according to their design; they do not have the same influences on the handling of the vehicle. However, the basis remains the same for all channels: it is a wire bent and welded links. Some brands justify a higher price using broader links. Sometimes they add a corrosion protection improves the life of all. The cost difference is also compared to the proposed closures. It is more automatic, more expensive chains. Note in this regard the initiative of neither proposing nor auto chains under its brand-erecting efficient enough.
Advantages: In case of heavy snow, they are the ones that offer the best grip of the vehicle. Unlike snow tires, chains are generally ridden on the two driving wheels (except for cars powered 4x4 or where it is advisable to mount them on all four wheels).
Strings can be. If this is the case, the panel is installed and B26 indicates that vehicles traveling on the road at the entrance, to which it is placed, must not move with snow chains on at least two drive wheels. The obligation ends at the sight of panel B44 obligation to end the use of snow chains. Disadvantages: Some chains, including the least expensive, are more difficult to mount and rust easily, which limits their useful lives. Snow chains required also not exceed a speed of 50 km / h. It is recommended to tighten chains after traveling a few kilometers. Interview: Chains wear out, so they should be clean and dry after each use, and then put them in their packaging. Besides traditional metal chains, other chains are more atypical available at select retailers or online:
Alternative channels: little known but very useful
- The polyester chains like Michelin Easy Grip (approved) are composed of very resistant materials and 150 steel rings. They offer a good grip performance on snow and ice and provide a quick and easy installation. Just put the top of the wheel of the mesh fabric, and then focus all on the wheel, the elastic attachment of the rest. Caution however, the top speed of 40 km/h.
- Born in Switzerland, Spider-Spike chains are valued for their life and their speed of assembly. They come in the form of an octopus made of spikes and claws that maximize grip during braking and acceleration on the ice and snow. With its pivoting bearings, chain fits many sizes of tires. But its advantage is that the assembly is done in thirty seconds.... if you took care to mount the disk before winter adaptation. In case of snow, it only remains to put the chain over the wheel cover and lock.