Sense and nonsense of winter tires
We had to wait a long time for it. For weeks the temperature was well above the normal average for this time of the year. But last week it finally got cold.
That was a bit of a shock because if the temperature drops from plus 10 degrees to minus seven degrees, it takes a few days to get used to. And warm clothes of course. Of course it also has its good sides. We can now still use the ice scrapers that we had already put in the car in November. It was just a pity that there was no snow. Because both our cars are on winter tires. We did this in the autumn, having become wise through damage and shame. Two winters ago my cars never left their parking lot in the winter. Despite the fact that I applied all the tricks. Let me list them: Once a car is driving on slippery snow, it is often a matter of carefully accelerating and slowly cornering so as not to break up. The hardest part is driving out of a parking position or at a traffic light. That's why here are a few tips. Clear the snow in front of and behind the front wheels and make sure the wheels are straight. That reduces resistance. Make a snow-free track. Give as little gas as possible and play with the clutch. If that does not work, then pull up in second gear without accelerating. If one of the driven wheels slips through and the handbrake is on it, then pull the handbrake just enough until the spinning wheel is blocked. That way the other wheel gets more grip. This is an artificial barrier effect. If the wheels are still slipping: place non-slip material in front of and behind the driven wheels, such as sand and branches or leaves. Push the car on that non-slip material to drive away. A piece of carpet can also be of service if it is used with both wheels. Tie a length of string to that carpet and wrap it around the bumper so you don't have to slip back to retrieve that handy tool. If the car needs to be pushed, push not only at the rear but also at the side of the drive wheels. Also make sure that more weight is above the driving wheels by hanging there or putting sand bags in them. Slippery wheels will make the ground very slippery and can also seriously damage the differential. Make sure the tires are under pressure. Tires that are too soft have less grip in these conditions. Doesn't all that help? Are there winter tires under the car? No? Hence. That's why I bought a set of winter tires for my estate car and that was a world of difference. Today finally snow has fallen as well. And immediately traffic is stuck everywhere. Glad I'm sliding.
Text and photo: Jacques van den Bergh