It’s that time of year when you need to think hard about what to get the one person who has everything. What’s the most practical gift that will always be used? Anything related to the automobile. Anyone who has a car will appreciate a gift certificate which can be used towards an oil change, state inspection, wheel alignment, brakes or a new set of tires. These are all routine maintenance items which everyone needs. As we enter the winter driving season, car safety should be a top priority.Top
One of the big factors in driving safely in winter is the condition of your tires. Driving on tires with little or no tread is not only dangerous, it can put your life at risk. The video below is a recent news segment from WKBW TV in Buffalo, NY. It shares some helpful information on preparing for winter driving.
If you have any question on winter driving or the condition/safety of your tires, please contact the nearest Dunn Tire store.
This time of year, we receive a lot of questions about the advantages of winter tires. Do they really make a difference? Are they safer? Are winter tires only necessary on the drive axle? Here is some valuable information to help you understand winter tires.
What are the advantages of winter tires over all-season tires?
The primary advantage of winter tires is improved traction and control in cold weather. Winter tires are made from softer rubber compounds that retain their flexibility in cold weather, allowing the tire to better conform to the surface of the road. In fact, in temperatures of 45 degrees or less, winter tires will increase vehicle stability regardless of road conditions. All-season and performance tires tend to get hard and brittle in cold temperatures – providing less traction. As a result, winter tires keep a better grip on snowy and icy surfaces than regular tires. A Motortrend.com report concludes that “modern winter tires can provide up to 20 percent better snow traction than an all-season design.”
Can I just install two winter tires on the drive axle?
It is not recommended. It’s always best to replace all four tires with winter tires because differences in tire size, traction and wear can negatively affect a car’s handling. As we discussed in a recent article, most 4WD and AWD vehicles recommend replacing all four tires at the same time. Using mismatched tires (tires of different size, circumference, type, manufacturer or tread depth), may force the differentials to operate at all times and cause early failure.
Only installing winter tires on the front wheels increases the risk of losing rear tire traction while braking or cornering on wintery roads (possibility of rear-wheel skids). If you were to just mount winter tires on the rear wheels, your front tires wouldn’t be able to grip the road as well. Any effort to steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go on wintery roads will be more difficult. The Tire Industry Association states “in order to maintain performance and stability, winter/snow tires must be installed on all four wheel positions on front-wheel drive vehicles.”
I have a 4WD or AWD vehicle – will all-season tires be fine for the winter?
A common misunderstanding regarding winter driving is the belief that four-wheel drive (4WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles don’t need winter tires because they perform better in winter conditions than two-wheel-drive vehicles. Although 4WD trucks, SUVs, and crossovers may provide more power and increased grip upon acceleration than a two-wheel vehicle, winter driving is all about traction. Stopping, starting, cornering and steering are all controlled by the tires. While 4WD or AWD may help during acceleration, it does not help the vehicle stop. Forbesauto.com writes “a 2WD drive vehicle with snow tires on all four wheels will outperform a 4WD vehicle with regular tires.”
Can I use my vehicle’s traction control feature instead of winter tires?
Ironically, traction control doesn’t actually control traction. It simply limits acceleration so your tires aren’t as likely to spin in wet or wintry conditions. For optimal traction control, you need tires made specifically for your weather conditions. In other words: winter conditions = winter tires.
We’ve shared several videos illustrating the effectiveness of winter tires compared to all-season tires.
If you have any questions regarding winter tires, please feel free to contact us. If you have your winter tires stored with us, please call ahead to schedule a time to have them installed. Don’t wait until the first snowfall, we encourage you to do this soon and avoid long wait times.Top
Treadwear warranties on replacement tires are offered by most major tire manufacturers. The goal is to help protect consumers in the case of significant premature tire wear. Think of these warranties as a manufacturer’s assurance of quality against signs of defects due to materials or workmanship for a defined period. It is important to note that these are limited warranties and the consumer needs to complete specific maintenance requirements to keep them in force.
How long are tires covered?
Each manufacturer defines the coverage terms and limits for their tire products. The duration of these mileage warranties can range from 4-6 years and/or 20,000 to 100,000 miles – typically whichever comes first. As Cooper Tire states “No manufacturer or dealer can guarantee you a certain number of miles from a given tire. Driving habits, driving conditions, tire and vehicle maintenance all play a part in the tread life of a tire and all differ with each purchaser.”
How does the warranty work?
Treadwear warranties generally only apply to the original owner (non-transferrable if sold) and the original vehicle (can’t switch the tires to another automobile). To maintain the warranty policy, the consumer will need to prove that the tires were properly inflated, aligned and rotated. The interval most vehicle and tire makers recommend for tire rotation is every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Other vehicle repairs (or replacement parts) may include suspension or brakes as necessary to keep the tires functioning properly.
If the tires have been properly maintained, all four tires should wear uniformly at the same rate. If the worn appearance indicates the tires were not appropriately maintained, the tire manufacturer may not honor the treadwear warranty.
If a replacement tire wears to the tread wear indicators (2/32″) in less than the miles warranted, a pro-rated adjustment is made according to actual mileage delivered. Replacement costs are generally determined by dividing the actual mileage delivered by the miles warranted and multiplying the result by the current selling price of an equivalent tire. Keep in mind that each tire manufacturer may offer slightly different coverage.
As an example, let’s say a set of tires has a 5 year/60,000 mile warranty. Let’s assume that after three years of purchase, all four tires collectively reach the 2/32” of remaining tread depth at 45,000 miles. Let’s also assume the tires were properly maintained as mentioned above. In this case, the tires have only met 75% of their warranted mileage. Since 25% of the covered tire tread life was not reached, the consumer is eligible to get a 25% discount off a new set of equivalent tires from the same brand. The consumer would be required to pay the remaining amount in addition to the cost of mounting, balancing and installing the replacement tires (and applicable sales tax). The exact pro-rated amount depends on the specific circumstances.
Most treadwear warranties require all tires to be worn down to 2/32” of tread depth before being considered for replacement. This can put drivers in an unsafe situation. Once tire treads get to these levels they are more prone to hydroplaning and reduced traction in snow and other adverse road conditions. It’s extremely important to evaluate the amount of savings versus the safety of your vehicle to make a sound decision. The treadwear warranties are not meant to be a discount loyalty program; they are in place to cover the instances of significant tire wear due to materials or workmanship.
What can void your warranty?
The biggest way to void your tire’s treadwear warranty is improper maintenance. If you can’t show proof that the tires were properly inflated, rotated and aligned, chances are your warranty claim will be denied. Other factors which may void a warranty are vandalism, racing, off-roading and damage from snow chains.
If you have questions or concerns about treadwear warranties, please contact the nearest Dunn Tire store for assistance.Top
Fall is a great time to shop for tires. We’ve got a massive selection of current tire deals from Michelin, Goodyear, Cooper, Pirelli, BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Hankook, Continental, Kumho and General Tires. No matter what type of tires you are looking for, there’s a good chance we can save you some money. In fact, use our online tire finder to conveniently browse all available tire deals.
Remember only Dunn Tire offers a 200% Price Protection Guarantee. If you find a lower advertised price on identical tires, with the same services, within 90 days of your purchase from Dunn Tire, we will refund you 200% of the difference. Shop with confidence!Top