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When it comes to winter driving, choosing the right traction equipment is crucial for your safety. Two popular options are snow tires and tire chains. Each has its own set of pros and cons, and the choice between the two depends on various factors. Let's take a closer look at the differences between snow tires and tire chains to help you make an informed decision for your winter driving needs.

Snow Tires

Snow tires, also known as winter tires, are specifically designed to provide enhanced traction in snowy and icy conditions. They are made of a unique rubber compound and have a tread pattern that helps disperse slush and snow, minimizing the risk of skidding and improving control. Snow tires come in two main types: studded and non-studded.

Pros of Snow Tires:

  • Excellent traction on snowy and icy roads
  • Better control and handling in winter conditions
  • Suitable for long-term use throughout the winter season
  • Perform well on dry and wet roads

Cons of Snow Tires:

  • Higher cost compared to tire chains
  • May require professional installation
  • Less effective in extreme conditions such as deep snow and ice

Tire Chains

Tire chains are metal chains that wrap around your tires to provide additional traction in snow and ice. They are particularly useful in extreme conditions, such as driving on steep slopes or unplowed roads.Pros of Tire Chains:

  • Provide exceptional traction in deep snow and ice
  • Lower cost compared to snow tires
  • Suitable for occasional use in extreme conditions

Cons of Tire Chains:

  • Can be challenging to install, especially for inexperienced users
  • Chains cannot be used on dry pavement
  • Chains tend to beat up the fenders and body of your car
  • Require driving at low speeds and can cause damage to the roadway if not used properly

In summary, snow tires are a great long-term solution for winter driving, providing excellent traction and control in a variety of conditions. On the other hand, tire chains are a more affordable option that is ideal for occasional use in extreme conditions. Ultimately, the choice between snow tires and tire chains depends on your specific driving needs, the typical winter conditions in your area, and your budget. It's important to weigh the opportunity costs of each option and consider factors such as cost, ease of installation, and the frequency of extreme winter weather in your area. Regardless of your choice, it's essential to prioritize safety and be prepared for winter driving conditions. Properly inflated tires, regular maintenance, and safe driving practices are also critical for staying safe on the road during the winter months.


Signs of Worn Steering and Suspension

The vehicle's steering and suspension systems are responsible for making your drives stable, comfortable, and safe. If you notice a bumpy or shaky ride, it is almost always linked to one of its components. You need to have your steering and suspension checked and not let red flags go amiss. More importantly, you should never put off a minor steering or suspension issue as they can progress.

Background Info on Steering & Suspension

The steering and suspension systems are part of an extensive system all enclosed by the chassis. These two systems work hand-in-hand to give you control and proper handling to move your vehicle in a safe way. The steering wheel is controlled through the steering gear, the steering linkage, and the steering arm. So, all you have to do is move the steering wheel to turn your tires/wheels. On the other hand, the suspension system consists of shocks, struts, coil springs, and more. These parts keep your vehicle stable by absorbing road impact and supporting the weight of your vehicle.

The majority of steering and suspension components are made of rubber or metal, meaning they are susceptible to wear and tear over time. To keep your vehicle safe on the road over the years, you should regularly inspect some of these parts. At our auto repair shop, our professional technicians can inspect everything from tie rods and ball joints to shocks and struts.

What Are the Signs of Worn Steering & Suspension Components?

If you notice any of the following symptoms, there may be a problem with your vehicle’s steering and suspension system:

  • Bouncing excessively after driving over bumps
  • Difficulty steering
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Shaky vehicle
  • Vehicle nose dives while braking
  • Vehicle pulling left or right
  • Fluid leaks

If you are experiencing any of these signs above, please visit the experts at Tim’s Automotive Repair. Be sure to note anything strange or different about your vehicle and relay this information to our staff during your visit. These symptoms will help point us in the right direction to diagnose and repair your vehicle accurately.

Common Steering & Suspension Services & Repairs

  • Shocks & Struts Replacement
  • Coil Spring Service
  • Ball Joint Replacement
  • Power Steering Fluid Service/Flush
  • … & More!

Steering & Suspension Repairs in Clackamas, OR

For all your steering and suspension system needs, including inspections, we invite you to bring your vehicle to the experts at Tim’s Automotive Repair for an inspection today!