Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
And all the clouds that low'r'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Richard the 3rd (Act 1 Scene1) -William Shakespeare
Remember when you bought your new sport coupe or sedan last spring? You marveled at the performance, the handling, the level of grip you got on those long sweeping off ramps. Shakespeare opens his play with Richard not actually protesting his discontent, but by celebrating an upturn in his family's fortunes, much as you felt when you first purchased your new car. Well, it's autumn now, the leaves are starting to turn. That new car "made glorious summer" may lead to "the winter of discontent," if you are not prepared for it.
If you live in the snow belt like I do, you know that sooner or later we will be battling snow, slush and ice. If you look carefully, you will probably find that your car came equipped with summer performance tires. Tires such as these provide great handling in warm temperatures but were never intended to be driven at temperatures approaching freezing, let alone on ice or snow. Attempting to drive in winter conditions on summer tires is a recipe for disaster. See the results in,"Testing on Ice: Winter / Snow vs. All-Season vs. Summer Tires."
Your new car may have come equipped with sophisticated anti-lock brakes, traction control and/or vehicle stability systems but they still rely on the friction provided by the tire on the driving surface. Do you want to continue to get full use out of your new car this winter and feel confident about your safety and that of your passengers? If you do, you should seriously consider installing a set of dedicated winter tires. See the improvement in this video:.
The type of winter tire you should buy, in large part, depends on the type of driving you do, and the conditions you encounter during the winter months:
- Studless Ice and Snow tires, such as the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, or the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 will provide the best possible traction for the worst weather conditions. Using this type of winter tire will improve your ability to accelerate, brake and negotiate slick corners with a new level of confidence and control.
- Performance Winter / Snow tires such as the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D and the new Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 come with higher speed ratings. They allow you to travel unplowed, snowy roads with ease while allowing you to drive clear paved roads with the type of handling you might expect from a performance all-season tire.
Whatever type of winter tire you choose, your ability to get around in bad weather this season will be dramatically improved on dedicated winter tires. In many respects, it's still winter for the restless Richard, who himself has ambitions for the throne. He attempts to bring on his own summer through manipulation, treachery and murder.
The new car smell has faded a little by now, but your car still runs and handles like new. Don't become discontented, as Richard did. Drive right through winter weather with a great set of winter tires from Tire Rack. Once you try them, I can assure you, you will never want to drive in winter without them.