As temperatures are starting to dip below freezing during night we all know that snow fall is inevitable. While we covered in a previous post on steps to take to get your car ready for the winter, we often get asked about tires. Specifically, the difference between winter & all-season tires. If you have brand new tires, and a reliable vehicle, you probably don’t need to worry about getting winter tires yet. Your tread length should ensure you’ll be able to make it through at-least one winter.

All season tires were designed to handle all road conditions. From wet & dry roads, light snow, and rain. Winter tires were designed specifically for low temperatures, ice, sleet, and snow.

The main difference between these two different types of tires come in their treads. Specifically, the design and composure of the treads. For all-season tires, their tread compound can harden in low temps, causing less traction between your tires and the road. Winter tires on the other hand use special rubber compounds that stay pliable in the cold. This pliability gives them better grip and improved braking in cold, sleek conditions.

Some other information on all-season vs winter tires:

  • Buying 2 vs 4: Sometimes people will wonder if it’s okay to buy 2 tires vs a new set of 4. We recommend if you can swing it, to buy 4 instead of 2. If you go with a 2 + 2 method, you might end up with “split personality” when it comes to the handling of your vehicle in the winter.
  • Using winter tires in the summer: If you are trying to get away with keeping your winter tires on during the summer, you’ll be sacrificing the life span of the tires. The warmer conditions will cause greater wear and tear on the materials.

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