Before this winter season, you may again face the choice of whether to buy studded or friction tires for your car. We decided to remind you in what cases non-studded tires are a good suit and when it is better to install spiked ones. Let's consider the question from the point of view of the car's drive - which, according to our experts, suits a rear-, front-, and all-wheel drive car.
Based on the history of tire development, the first specialized winter tires were studded ones produced by Nokian Tires. Friction ones were created in response to the ban on the use of studs in some European countries.
New developments in the field of tire technology allow non-studded tires to achieve characteristics on winter surfaces that are in many ways similar to the properties of studded ones.
Thanks to their iron claws, the tires have excellent grip on icy surfaces and provide a short braking distance.
However, spikes do not have as many small lamellas as friction ones and are inferior to the latter in control on wet surfaces. In addition, as a rule, lamellas are not applied to the space directly around the studs. This is also why grip on wet roads is worse than that of studless tires.
What we know in general about studded tires:
Who are they suitable for:
This type of tire, due to the properties of rubber, seems to stick to the surface with the help of friction.
How it happens on ice:
Yes, you can also drive on ice using friction tires, but you have to seriously reduce the speed so that the properties of the rubber and tread pattern have time to do their job.
So, the features of friction tires are as follows:
Who they are suitable for:
You can use all-season wheels in mild winter conditions. However, they do not have the same features as winter tires, so their performance in harsh weather is not as good.
In addition to climatic conditions and your preferences, when choosing winter tires, pay attention to one more factor - the type of drive of your car.
Cars with different types of drives have their control characteristics, especially in the case of skidding. We will provide brief descriptions of the features of each drive and recommend tires that are best suited for front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive vehicles.
The brief essence of how this type of drive works: the engine spins the front wheels, and the rear wheels rotate freely. The main weight falls on the front of the car.
Some features of the behavior and control of a car with front-wheel drive:
For FWD cars, it is better to choose studded tires in winter to minimize the likelihood of skidding when cornering on slippery surfaces. But if the car has active safety systems, and you prefer steady driving, friction tires are also suitable.
In vehicles with this drive type, the engine rotates the rear wheels. Cars with rear-wheel drive are often in the range of expensive brands. For example, many Mercedes and BMW models are equipped with rear-wheel drive.
Features of behavior and control of a rear-wheel drive car:
Considering the driving characteristics of rear-wheel drive cars, it is safest to install studded tires for winter driving on them.
All-wheel drive supposes that the engine transmits torque to all four wheels. In AWD vehicles, both axles are driven. Power is distributed between axles and wheels using differentials.
Features of behavior and control of all-wheel drive vehicles are as follows:
For all-wheel drive vehicles, you can use both types of winter tires. Due to the evenly distributed weight, a well-thought-out system, and an impressive set of electronic assistants, they can ensure stability and safety on winter roads if you adhere to the speed limit and reasonable driving style.
The main thing to remember here is that no matter what tires are on your car, in winter, you have to change your driving style. It is better to avoid sudden acceleration and braking, increase the distance, and think through each maneuver in advance. To ensure safe driving, schedule your visit to Indy Auto Man for a tire change and seasonal service in Indianapolis!