3 Signs You Bought A Great Snow Tire For Your Toyota Prius
Winter is one time of the year that I want to make darn sure everything on my Prius is in tip-top shape. The first line of defense that everyone should be checking before they set sail to grandma's house for the holidays. So whether it is batteries or tires, make sure you are getting the best on your Prius.
If you have recently bought new snow tires or are considering them for your Prius this season, tune in right now. Here are three signs you have purchased the right snow tires for your Toyota Prius.
First sign, The Tire Siping Is Plentiful
As an automotive professional, I have spent many hours in various shops. I have also spent copious amounts of time researching tires over the years. Anything that I can do to improve my Prius is a total win for me and can benefit you too. Check out this guide on choosing the right brand of tires for your Prius.
What many people do not understand is that the difference between a cheap $40 tire and an expensive $90 tire. One of those things is the number of cuts or sipes in the tread blocks. These sipes are responsible for achieving maximum road surface grip under the nastiest of weather conditions.
Sipes allow the tread blocks to flex and gain a more extensive footprint on the road. Knowing this is incredibly helpful, especially when the trail becomes caked with ice and snow.
Now more siping does not equate to the best tire out there, but if you look around, you will notice differences between brands. The Bridgestone Blizzak, for instance, has excellent tire siping. While something like a Champiro Winter tire does not.
Take a hard look at the tread when you are thinking of buying tires. If you have purchased already, take a hard look at your tires and compare them to some others out there. You will be shocked at what you could find.
Second Sign, The Tread Blocks Are Typically Smaller
Again take a look at the tires in the store. The cheap ones will usually have larger tread blocks, and the more expensive ones will have smaller chunks.
The reasoning for this is quite simple, grip. Sipes allow the tires to flex and bite and so to smaller tread blocks. The grip is critical when choosing tires. I want the most grip possible if I am traveling somewhere that I know will be snowy. I like to make it to my destination. Need a little help on deciding? Check out this article here.
A smaller footprint can also equate into a quieter tire. Not that this should be your first concern, but again I like a tire that allows me to have a conversation in the car. I can always tell the level of commitment in Prius drivers by looking at their tires. I can pretty much guarantee the less money they spend, the less they care about their car. Call me judgy, but more often than not, I am right.
Third Sign, The Tires Are Soft
When I say this, I do not mean a warm fuzzy blanket soft but rather a squishy pliable soft. The difference between a decent tire and a great one is the materials that made it. I love looking at all the displays that are in the showroom while I am waiting for help. It gives me time to put my hands on the tires and feel what the difference in quality is.
The softer the material, the better flex, more grip, and smoother ride your car will get. Now I do not know about other Prius drivers, but for me, I aim for all of those benefits in snow tire. If you want more tips on a better ride for your Prius, check out my other article here.
I sure hope that this has helped you gain a better understanding of what the differences are between good and great snow tires. I hope that everyone has a wonderful and, most of all, safe holiday season. Make sure you treat your Toyota Prius right, and it will take care of you.
Be sure to check out my other story, Toyota Prius Gets Two Siblings To Go AWD.
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting