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Battling winter road conditions in our region is a stressful venture if a vehicle doesn’t handle well in snow.

Even with all-wheel drive the daily commute can be challenging proposition.

Poor traction and loose control on winter roads is not typically the vehicle’s fault. Tires carry most of the blame.

Early this month, Kia dropped off a 2018 Stinger GT2 Sportback with all-wheel drive to test its mettle through a Midwest winter.

My only rub was that the test car came equipped with summer tires.

Promise of AWD traction is limited on cold or snowy surfaces with firm rubber compounds found in warm-weather performance tires.

Winter tires are specially engineered to resist hardening and stay pliable in cold temperatures for maximum traction on all four wheels to deliver extraordinary control, handling and stopping performance on ice and snow covered pavement.

The rubber has an advanced tread design containing thousands of zigzag three-dimension sipes containing microscopic pores that when exposed to ice and snow, create a continuous surface of biting edges to grip the road.

Major tire manufacturers build winter tires to fit most size wheels for cars, minivans, trucks and SUVs.

Outfitting a vehicle with a complete set of four winter tires is a must for optimum performance on ice, snow, slush and wet or dry cold road surfaces.

Placing only two winter tires on just the front or rear wheels of a vehicle puts the operator at risk of lost control as the unprotected corners don’t have the same bite to track across the ice or snow and will cause the front end to “plow” or the rear end to come-around.

Fogged in

If condensation and frost is building up on the inside of your vehicle’s windows, it is likely fresh air is not reaching the cabin. In winter, recycled air contained within the passenger compartment will fog the inside glass. Fresh air is needed.

Look for the button on your climate control system that shows a looped arrow graphic enclosed within an outline of a car.

That is the cabin’s recycled air control meant to keep dust and other outside pollutants from entering the car’s interior. Turn it off in winter.

Turn on the fresh-air control showing an arrow entering the outline of a car to allow outside ventilation into the cabin. Then, adjust the temperature control to your comfort level. Fog on the windows will disappear.