It's early December in the Twin Ports and we've had a couple of smaller blasts of snow thus far.  It's typical, many people for some reason need to re-learn how to drive when it's slippery out.  Even with a majority of vehicles nowadays being front-wheel or all-wheel drive, many still forget how important good tires can be when the roads are less than ideal.

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Plenty of tire manufacturers advertise and claim their products are all-season or rated for mud and snow, but I've seen few that actually live up to their names.  I mean that in comparison to an actual rated for snow tire.  To technically qualify as true "winter tires" you need to look for a logo called  "3PMSF", which stands for "three peak mountain snowflake".

You may not see that exact number and letter combo on the tires, but will generally see a picture of the mountain and snowflake.  Tires with this marking meet more stringent performance requirements for actual snow.

To meet those more extreme standards and better handle snowy roads, the tire compounds are developed to remain more flexible at colder temps.  Better flex means better grip and better performance, especially when combined with tread patterns designed for snow and slush.

When purchasing winter tires it is best practice to get four of them for your vehicle.  I have run just two on the drive wheels of cars in the past when money was tight, but it's not recommended.  There is a significant difference in feel with all four vs just two on a two-wheel drive vehicle, and it's safer that way.  Some tire shops I've encountered over the years won't even install just two on your car with the safety aspect in mind.

If you haven't run winter tires before, and especially if your vehicle is only two-wheel drive, I highly suggest looking into the investment of actual snow tires.  You won't believe the difference and a set of four installed that you switch out every spring and fall, can last you several years.

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