If you’re anything like me—and heaven help you if you’re too much like me—buying tires for your car is a tedious chore you’d rather get over with as quickly as possible. It must have shown on my face then, recently, when the guy behind the counter at the tire store said, “And you’ll want those new tires siped, right?”…
If you don’t see the sign, expect to do the time (paying off your increased insurance rates after sliding on a sheet of ice that was formerly an off-ramp and straight into a pileup of crashed cars).
Winter is officially here and that means it’s time for winter tires. It might seem like a great expense—if the tires on my car weren’t made for all seasons, why do they call them all season tires?—but trust us, they’re worth it. Really. Not sure which kind is best? Here’s what you need to know before buying some.
What you need is winter tires. And you might need more ground clearance than you get with a 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross. Maybe. Kind of. Not really.
It’s cold, snowy and icy outside for a lot of us, so we go and swap our summer tires for the winter ones. It’s the safe thing to do... on ice and snow. Things are a little different on pavement.
It’s about the time of year that most of us get our winter tires swapped off for the summer ones. We’ve always heard that we have to do this because winter tires just don’t perform as well in warm weather as summer tires do and now there is empirical evidence of that fact.
For the first time in North America, you can order a car from the factory with winter tires, and the new Ford Focus RS is the first car to get the package. It’s as if it’s designed for snow hoonage out of the box!
I recently decided that I would answer the beckoning call of the wild by taking my Aston Martin on an 800-mile road trip to Vermont and back.
Intellectually, you probably understand that winter tires are better in crappy weather. But understanding and feeling are quite different. It’s difficult to process out everything between you and the tire to get a good sense of what’s going on. Unless you take away the car part of the equation.
Máté and I had a great time at the northernmost winter tire testing center in the world, in February in Finland. The following set of 50 photos serves as a pictorial diary of a nearly one-week trip beyond the arctic circle, where Finland's snow tire makers test the hell out of all kinds of rubber.
Nokian Tyres introduced winter tires in 1934 in Finland, and eighty years later – when they aren't chasing ice speed records on frozen lakes – they are still busy testing tires flat out while looking for reindeer on the biggest and coldest playground you've ever seen. Welcome to White Hell.
Winter tires were invented by the Finnish in 1934 for commercial vehicles, but after being around for 80 years, some still refuse to use them despite the huge advantage they provide.
Anybody that has ever tried to put those damned tire chains on can smile and know that the age old midwest winter traditional may soon be extinct thanks to Q Celsius, a new tire that has retractable studs. The Q Celsius takes its name from James Bond's gadget man, Q, and operates with a switch inside the vehicle.