Look at your sidewall closely and you will see different numbers and letters and branding which represent the unique qualities of your tire. Information that is easy for some and might be new for others. However, there is one symbol that may leave you wondering – is that a snowflake next to a jagged mountain?!
The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) devised the Mountain/Snowflake symbol. This symbol can ensure you the tire meets the most stringent winter traction performance requirements. This includes wet, snowy roads and low temperatures. These are tires that you can leave on your vehicle year round and rest assured you will have good grip in winter conditions other than some light snow. Most all-season tires do not qualify for the Mountain/Snowflake because the tread rubber will freeze at 40 F.
To see if your tires are winter ready you can locate the sneaky little symbol on the sidewalls of winter tires designed for light-duty trucks. Find this symbol and you will know you are ready for extreme winter conditions. The symbol may be used in combination with the letters “M” and “S” (e.g., MS, M/S, M&S, or M+S), representing mud (m) and snow (s) capabilities.
Looking to upgrade your tires for winter? Then be sure to check out all of TreadWright Tires since they are all rated for winter. For instance, our Warden & Axiom line our excellent example – they are all-terrain tires but contains the 3-peak mountain snowflake symbol indicating that it equals or surpasses the industry’s severe snow traction performance requirements. Snow drivers can also choose a tire like the Claw, or Guard Dog. Making sure your tires have a healthy amount of tread will help vehicle grip and performance to help shorten your braking distance.
Need More Winter Traction?
Need more traction than the standard Mountain Snowflake has to offer? We have a solution for you at TreadWright Tires and it is called Kedge Grip. How can Kedge Help? Kedge Grip is designed as a traction additive that is blended into the rubber compound. It consists of crushed-walnut shell and glass particles. The idea is that as the tire wears, the walnut shell will displace from the rubber and leave behind 1mm voids to help increase traction. The crushed glass is intended to stay longer to increase grip on the surface of the tread. Kedge Grip is the right choice for challenging all season and winter conditions.
Maintain Winter Tires
When it comes to maintaining your tires, keep them in a dry, cool environment like your garage or basement. Proper maintenance is very important – it will help the tire last longer as well. Check your tires regularly – at least once per month. Rotate tires as frequently as your owner’s manual suggests. If tread depth is lower than one-eighth of an inch, or you notice bulging or cracking it’s time to shop for new tires. Numerous small cracks in the sidewall or tread blocks come from exposure to the elements and age. Rubber, much like your leather interior needs treating to prevent cracking. Check out our 5 tips for driving in winter elements here.