What’s the big difference between winter tires and all-season tires? Plus, how do you decide if you should buy a second set of winter tires?
Bridgestone Tire has a great analogy for all-season tires vs winter & snow tires. All-season tires are like tennis shoes; they work year round, but they’re not necessarily the best option for all situations. Flip-flops are a better choice for a day at the beach, or snow boots on a snowy day.
All-season tires are designed to help with traction in rainy or snowy conditions as well as dry weather. They often last longer than seasonal tires. Some may also offer a more comfortable, quieter ride as well as better gas mileage and some energy conservation.
Snow and Winter Tires
These tires are specifically designed for wet, cold roads – and temperatures below 45º. They have aggressive tread to offer a better grip on roads with snowy and icy conditions as well as to help reduce the buildup of snow on your wheels. Winter tires often help drivers feel more in-control and more confident on snowy roads.
Keep these pieces of information in mind if you’re trying to decide whether or not to invest in winter tires. If you live in an area where the temperature is regularly below 45º during the winter, invest in winter tires. And if there’s a lot of snow, sleet or ice on the roads during the winter, snow tires would give you more traction and make getting around easier – invest in winter tires.
If you decide to go the winter and snow tire route, make sure you switch back to all-season or summer tires when the weather gets warmer. The materials used wear more quickly on warm roads and would then need to be replaced more often.
No matter what kind of tires you have on your car, remember to drive carefully in the snow or on icy roads. Slow down, give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, leave extra follow distance and anticipate traffic changes whenever possible.
For safety reasons and better handling in snow, slush and icy conditions; if you do use winter and snow tires, you should always switch all four wheels over.