Tuesday, January 17, 2012

winter wheels

I live in a cold enough climate that snow is a regular issue in the winter. I know that I should have winter tires, which are way better than all-wheel drive in winter conditions. I've never owned a car with either.

My first car was inherited from my Mom. It was an old-school economy car made entirely of steel, with some plastic to liven up the interior and pad out the bumpers. It had no power (or brakes) to speak of, and it had narrow little economy tires that allowed me to scramble out of any accumulation of snow/ice lower than the chassis.

When my first car died, I got my little hatchback, and learned that the wide, sporty tires were um, not good for snow. But by then, I had driven safely through utterly hairy conditions (roads with massive, 50+ car chain accidents, roads that were closed by the authorities about 10 minutes after I drove through, etc) with vehicles that were terrible for snow: cargo vans and pickups with front-wheel drive and no weight in the back. So I didn't feel any urgency to get winter tires.

But now is the time to consider winter wheels and tires: 1. I have been convinced that it's dumb to avoid a critical safety feature just because I think I'm an awesome driver. 2. My current wheels have a really crappy alloy that went yellow almost immediately and permanently look dirty, and the rims have a bad case of curb rash.

Ok. When my current all-season tires expire, I'll buy winter tires and put them on the old wheels, then I'll get summer tires and... new wheels! Some browsing on tire rack provides 2 options for wheels that will fit my car that are lightweight, not hideous, and not outrageously expensive:

1. The cheaper option ($140/wheel) that I like the looks of a little better, but which weighs almost 20 pounds - Enkei Performance Imola


2. The more expensive option ($180/wheel) that weighs 3 pounds less - Enkei Tuning Fujin

Either way, this is going to be an investment. Hope we don't get hit by a truck any time soon.


Sebastian Gaydos said...

It's pretty smart that you picked up winter tires for your car. Usually, regular tires lose their elasticity in extremely cold temperatures. These tires are more elastic, with the help of advanced engineering. It prevents snow buildup, and at the same time, improves snow traction. :)


Erwin Calverley said...

There are some cars out there that no matter how great it may look, they couldn’t stand harsh weather conditions. Winter tires are indeed a great investment as it will assure your safety when you’re out driving on the snowy road.