Why You Shouldn’t Put Just Two Winter Tires on Your Car

It might sound like a cheaper alternative with real benefits, but it’s actually incredibly dangerous.

For those of us shopping for winter tires for the upcoming season, the thought has almost certainly crossed our minds: Can I get away with running just two winter tires on the front or rear wheels only? It costs half as much, and it’s better than no winter tires at all, right? Wrong.

The Tyre Reviews channel on YouTube put together an extremely helpful video demonstrating exactly why running winter tires on only half of your car’s wheels isn’t adequate for driving in snowy conditions. Using a front-wheel drive BMW X2, the host shows that while accelerating and straight-line braking are improved, the minute you turn the steering wheel, you’ll inevitably lose control.

This is because the rear wheels, while not being driven by the engine, still play a vital role in keeping the car’s weight balanced through a turn. Once you ask the car to change directions, the rear assumes a lot of the weight swinging on the front axle. If there are winter tires on the back, then the car will stay balanced, and do what you ask it to. But if you have all-seasons or summers on the rear, then the car will snap oversteer, even at comically low speeds, as shown in the video above. That’s no problem in a big open space like this one, but out on the road, it could be deadly.

The same is true for rear-wheel drive cars, except it’s reversed. You’ll have traction and braking in the rear, but you won’t be able to turn since your front wheels won’t be able to grip the surface. Basically, you’ll just go straight. Even if your car has all-wheel drive, having mis-matched tires will still cause a significant imbalance in grip, and cause the same safety issues.

Let this be a lesson to prospective winter tire buyers: Don’t cheap out, get a full set. It could save you from disaster.

Original Article by Brian Silvestro