Monday, November 28, 2016

Winter is coming

If the US president-elect is to be believed, climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I don't know about that but where I live it's been a hell of a lot warmer this year - we're all still driving around on summer tyres here, long past the date when we'd normally have snow on the ground.
But winter is coming - eventually - and if you live in the snowy areas, that means snow and ice on the roads, which means everyone will forget how to drive in those conditions.
Be careful on the first snow of the year. Go find an empty parking lot and use it to find out how your car behaves in these conditions. Teach yourself the limits of cornering and braking grip with your current tyres and current vehicle on packed and loose snow (or ice).
Better yet, put winter tyres on. I say this every year but I can't stress it enough. If the temperature where you live regularly drops below 45°F / 7°C in the winter months, winter tyres will benefit you even if it never snows. The rubber compound in these tyres is designed to stay more flexible at much lower temperatures. More aggressive tread helps in the snow and ice, and on wet and rainy roads, they help pump more water out from the contact patch. Because you only have them on for three months of the year - maybe four - they'll last four or five winters before you need to consider renewing them. It's money well-spent.
This video from 2011 is well worth watching - it shows the difference winter tyres make on snow, ice and just plain old wet roads in cold conditions.....