6 Tips for Using Snow Chains

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Snow might be pretty to look at from your window, with a cup of hot cocoa in hand, but it does not make for the best driving conditions. With colder weather quickly approaching and snowy days right around the corner, having the tips and tricks necessary to combat harsh driving conditions is imperative. This being said, investing in snow chains, also known as tire chains or cables, is a winter weather essential. Unsure whether you need snow chains or why you should utilize them? Keep reading to learn 6 tips for using snow chains.

6 Tricks to Using Snow Chains on Your Car

1. Understand How and Why They Work

When roads get icy or snowy, you want to make sure your tires have proper traction to avoid accidents. Snow chains provide the peace of mind you need because they cover wheels of a vehicle and give tires better traction when stuck in snow. They help tires get a stronger grip on the harshest and slipperiest of roads, allowing improved rotation of the wheels. The chains also prevent skidding and aid with hydroplaning if you are driving on black ice or through melting snow.

2. Explore Different Chain Features

All chains are not created equally, as some handle certain types of terrain or road conditions better than others. Make sure you know how many chains you need, and what type they should be. If you have a 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicle, you will probably need 2 sets of snow chains instead of just one set for 2-wheel drive. Do your research before you buy, learning which chain suits your vehicle, the terrain you most frequently encounter, and what kind of chain you can buy within your budget.

3. Choose the Right Size for Your Tires

Snow chains are useless if they do not fit snugly around your tires. Incorrect chain size can undermine performance of your tires, and may even cause damage and stalling to tires and your vehicle. To find out if your tires can be equipped with tire chains (not all vehicles can), make sure you know how to check your tire size, and then consult your vehicle’s manual, maintenance guide, or tire dealer accordingly. Once you have verified that there are no warnings or regulations you should by mindful of, you are ready to purchase your snow chains.

4. Practice Installation at Home

If you know how to use the chains before you head out, the experience of using them will be much easier and less stressful when it matters. Understanding how to keep chains from tangling, how to tighten them as needed, and how to take them off ahead of time will make you more prepared to use the chains in the future.

5. Be Mindful of Driving Habits

Your driving style can affect the performance of your chains, so be extra careful about spinning tires, hitting curbs, locking wheels when you brake, or driving on bare pavement that is not covered by snow or ice. Also, be sure to stay under 30 mph and accelerate slowly and evenly. Any of these poor driving habits will compromise how well your chains work, jeopardizing your safety and causing premature wear on your chains and tires.

6. Only Use Chains as Necessary

Another big component of learning about snow chains before you purchase them is knowing when you do or do not need to use them. You do not need snow chains when driving in wet weather or on snowless roads. Additionally, if you already have snow tires, it is likely that chains are not needed because snow tires are designed with deeper tread and rubber that is more appropriate for cold weather. Whether you need chains also depends on local requirements, as snow tires will suffice a lot of the time.

Shop for Tires Online

With the 6 tips above and a little bit of research, you will be a pro at driving in snowy conditions. It is essential to learn how, why and when to use snow chains before you buy them, and TreadHunter helps make all of your driving experiences a breeze. Learn how simple it is to buy new tires with us once you start your search today!

How to Avoid a Tire Blowout

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As the seasons change and you travel back and forth for holiday dinners, gift shopping and time spent with your loved ones, you tend to utilize your car more often, making it more fragile and prone to damage. One of the biggest car issues cars face is a flat tire. Even if you are lucky enough to avoid the dreaded recurring flat tire, you have surely witnessed other cars pulling over on the side of the road to cope with their tire troubles. How do you keep your tires from blowing out? Read below to find out.

Tips to Prevent a Tire Blowout

Check Tire Pressure Regularly

The most common cause for flat tires is over- or under- inflation. Air is what allows the tires to carry the weight of the vehicle and its cargo, and proper tire pressure is key in ensuring that your tires do not overflex, or weaken, and eventually fail. Unsure of what the proper air pressure should be for your car? Check inside the driver side door or in your car’s manual; newer cars even have automated systems that tell you what the current pressure of each tire is. If all else fails, see a tire dealer or stop by your local gas station and make use of their air machines.

Steer Clear of Potholes

Road conditions are not always the best, but avoiding potholes will prolong the life of your tires and save you from wasting time at a mechanic or pulling over to change a flat. Hitting a pothole can affect a car’s suspension and if the hit is hard enough, they can cut or fray a tire’s internals. In some situations, the pothole will cut all the way through fabric and rubber, and the tire will die right there. If that’s not bad enough, sometimes the damage will not be noticeable for months and then the tire will begin a slow leak of air, making it unrepairable.

Do Not Overload Cargo

Tires are only capable of handling so much, especially if they have inaccurate air pressure. Make sure you are aware of how much of a load your vehicle can handle, and do not go against the manufacturer’s Gross Vehicular Weight Rating (found on the same card as the car’s necessary air pressure). Taking a few trips to and from your destination may be tedious and inconvenient, but it is better than paying to repair or replace busted tires.

Be Aware of Wear and Tear

Weather conditions, rigorous use and driving practices are all things to consider when looking for wear and tear on your tires. Rash driving, dirt, debris and improper inflation cause tires to deteriorate much faster and make them much more prone to becoming flat. If you are checking your tires and observe nails, tears, bubbles, etc. or feel a difference in how the car is driving, have a professional inspect the car immediately. The longer you wait to have the car inspected, the closer to a blowout you will get.

Replace Tires in a Timely Manner

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, tires should be replaced every six to ten years, or when significant wear and tear is observed. If you are unsure of the age of your tires or do not know how to check how old they are, use our guide to learn how to tell the age of your tires.

Shop for Tires Online

Having to replace an unexpected flat tire can really put a damper on your day, especially during the holiday season. Be proactive and let our tips help you stray away from any unpleasant surprises. If you are in the market for new tires, TreadHunter’s deals will make shopping for tires online as easy (and cheap) as can be. Sign up for a free membership today!

How to Drive Safely on Ice and Snow

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Tips to Stay Safe When Driving in Inclement Weather

Black ice hidden under a white, slushy layer of snow is a recipe for disaster if your car isn’t properly equipped to take on harsh winter conditions. Your car can spiral out of control, putting your life and other passengers in danger. To avoid an unfortunate accident, below are some tips on how to drive smart and stay safe when driving on ice and snow.

1. Stay Home

If there are extreme winter conditions hitting your town, it’s best to stay home and off the road. If you can’t see out of your own bedroom window, chances are you won’t be able to see out of your windshield either. However, if you NEED to be somewhere important, patiently wait for better weather.

2. Have the Right Tires

Tires are a deal-breaker when deciding to drive through the ice and snow. Standard all-season tires will not be adequate enough to handle such rigorous winter conditions. They may be able to handle light winter conditions and wetness, but they are not made to handle heavy snowfall or extreme icy conditions. Choosing the right tires, such as winter tires, will drastically improve your safety while on the road. If you have the right tires for your vehicle, double check to make sure they aren’t balding and that the treads are up to par.

3. Drive Slowly

No matter what tires you have, speeding in rough winter conditions can result in an accident or a lot of close calls. Slowly accelerate and decelerate to allow you car to get the most traction when driving on snowy or icy roads. Also, don’t forget to give yourself enough time to stop at signs or red lights. If you’re accelerating to quickly, you may hit the brakes too hard and possibly skid into oncoming traffic. Your safety should be your number one priority, not how fast you get there.

4. Keep Your Distance

When driving on icy or snow-filled roads, try to resist tailgating as much as possible even if you are in a rush. When it’s snowing, there should be ample distance between you and the car in front of you more so than on a sunny day. This tip goes hand-in-hand with driving slowly. If you’re going too fast and speeding up to the car in front of you, there’s a greater possibility for you to rear end them if they were to stop short.

5. Have a Car Emergency Kit

If you are planning to travel somewhere far in the winter, pack a car emergency kit in case you encounter snow or icy road conditions. An emergency kit provides extra precaution in case your car breaks down or if you’re involved in an accident. Things to consider packing into your car emergency kit include jumper cables, flashlight, working jack, roadside flares, first-aid kit, blankets, brake fluid, gloves, ice scraper, tire inflator, AAA roadside emergency card, tools, granola bars and water. If you’re stranded somewhere on the side of the road, these items will come in handy.

Find Winter Tires on TreadHunter

Driving through ice and snow can be extremely dangerous, but following these tips will help you get through the rough winter conditions. If you’re looking for winter tires to help you get through the upcoming months, TreadHunter can help you find the best winter tires for your car. We’ll help you get the best deals and ensure your tire safety for the winter season. Sign up for your free membership today!

Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires

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The Difference Between Winter and All-Season Tires

If you have all-season tires, you may be wondering if you even need to invest in winter tires for the months ahead. To better understand what tires you need this winter, you need to know the difference between the two and consider the road conditions and weather you normally experience during this season.

Winter Tires

Driving in the wintertime can be very dangerous, especially when your car does not have the right tires. Thick snow and ice, accompanied by either hail or snow is a recipe for disaster if your tires are worn down and not made to tackle such inclement weather. From heavy snow to black ice, winter tires are designed to perform well in any winter condition. A winter tire can provide strong traction and acclimate to sharp turns, making it versatile for snow – something that an all season tire cannot do.

Winter Tire Features

There are specific factors and features that make winter tires unique and preferred for winter conditions. Due to different tread rubber compounds than all season tires, winter tires are more flexible and allow the tire to grip the road better. Another unique feature of winter tires is their deeper tread depths and tread patterns. With deeper tread depths, winter tires can reduce snow build up and provide better traction, and tread patterns can expel water and channel snow and slush. Winter tires also feature biting edges, which are thousand of tiny slits that provide increased traction and grip on the ice.

All-Season Tires

A majority of the cars that are sold come with all-season tires. All-season tires are popular for their fuel economy, good tread life, and their ability to provide a quiet ride. These tires are also designed to provide an all-around good performance in wet conditions as well as in light snow. They combine the benefits of a summer tire and a winter tire, however they are not designed to handle extreme winter conditions. They are not ideal for drivers who encounter extreme cold, ice and snow in the winter.

All-Season Tire Features

All-season tires are offered in many models, sizes and load capacities. They are easy to handle, and feature moderate tread depths that provide a longer tread life. All-season tires perform well in warm weather and light winter conditions, but they do not offer adequate grip and lack in some steering, braking and cornering capabilities. They are capable of providing traction in the winter, but are not best in extreme winter conditions. All-season tires are often a better option for driver in moderate climates and less extreme driving conditions.

Which Tires are the Best?

Now that you know the best uses and features of winter and all-season tires, which one is the best? The answer to this question all depends on where you live and the driving conditions in your area. If you only see moderate winter weather and a couple of light flurries throughout the winter months, then all-season tires may be the best choice for you. But if you encounter severe winter conditions, invest in winter tires to get you through the winter and ensure your safety.

Find Winter and All-Season Tires at TreadHunter

If you’re looking to by winter or all-season tires, at TreadHunter, we can help you find tires that best suits your needs. We offer a wide variety of tires and brands that will get you through the long winter months. You can easily search for tires by location, tire size, tire brand or by car type on our website. Contact us today to get the best local deals on tires and to see how it works.