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Some times it's important to go to the experts for proper opinions. Especially if our lives depend on it. Be safe this winter. Read on!

Because you're carrying precious cargo (such as yourself, your children or other passengers), tire care is imperative in the wintertime. Your tire choice depends on where you live and how you drive.

Steps:

1. Check your owner's manual for specs on tire types and sizes

2. Equip your car with mud and snow tires, which are legal everywhere if not equipped with metal studs.

3. Install metal-studded tires if you need to drive on ice. Keep in mind that these are illegal in 10 states and approved for only seasonal use in 31 states and the District of Columbia.

4. Check your tire pressure often in cold weather. Tires lose about 1 p.s.i. each time the temperature drops 10 degrees.


Tips:
Mount snow tires of equal size, type and tread, especially if your car has front-wheel drive [like your RAV4]. On these vehicles, mismatched rear wheels can lose traction when trying to slow down on icy surfaces.

Installing tires bigger than those recommended in your owner's manual can make steering difficult. They can also rub against your fender wells or suspension.

Snow tires generally have large void areas in the tread that allow them to grip snow better than regular tires, while all-weather (or all-season) tires attempt to combine a quiet ride with better snow traction.

People who live in states that allow studded tires often install them on their drive wheels to increase ice traction. While unstudied snow tires and all-season tires are much less effective on ice, tire chains can increase traction from 80 to 200 percent on any surface.


Warnings:
Make sure your tire chains are the proper type and size for your tires. Mismatched chains often cause tire failure.

Tips from eHow Users:
Differing opinion by Jake P.
I work at a tire store. I disagree with some of the information regarding snow tires. When using snow tires it is best to put them on all four wheels. Tires such as Bridgestone Blizzaks and Michelin Alpine are excellent tires, providing better traction than studded tires. If only two tires are used they should be placed on the back, regardless of front wheel drive. If the tires are placed on the front the vehicle will not handle well unless they are on all four. This information is provided to our store (Sears auto group) from the tire companies themselves. Some of them won't let us sell their winter tires unless they are in a set of 4. Feel free to contact tire companies about this information.

Source: Clear Instructions on How To Do (just about) Everything. BTW, you should check this web site for very interesting and useful information.

http://www.ehow.com/how_6356_choose-proper-tires.html
 

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I'm a tire professional. Seems like you pretty much nailed it and the part at the end is true when it comes to two winters or four. Always go with four. Legally most reputable places will no longer install two winter tires. There have been too many deaths attributed to this in the past and most of us won't touch it now.

Stay safe and reduce speed. Later. M. :)
 
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