Winter Tires

What You Need to Know About Winter Tires

In most of the United States, winter tires are uncommon, and in some places, they not even legal. However, in some of the coldest and snowiest parts of the country, winter tires are an important part of safe driving during the winter months. Do you use winter tires? Are they useful in your area? We’ve put together a guide to winter tires to help answer some of your questions.

What are winter tires?

Winters tires are sometimes called ‘snow tires’ and there are a few different kinds of tires that fit into this category. Generally, winter tires are designed for weather below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, because they have more small grooves in them than the summer or all season tires that most vehicles use.

Studded tires are a specific kind of winter tire that has small metal studs, which help to grip snow and ice and get even more traction.

Why aren’t all tires designed like winter tires? Can I use them all year?

All season tires are designed to grip the road and maintain control of the vehicle in a majority of weather and road conditions, even if they aren’t as good as winter tires in cold weather conditions. Winter tires, while they are better in colder temperatures, don’t perform as well as all season tires do in wet conditions.

The studs that protrude from studded tires are meant to help grip the snow and ice – which they do. But, when they drive on roads that aren’t coated in snow or ice, these studs grip the road, eventually poking holes in it where water can collect, and as water freezes and melts, it ruins the roads.

Do I need winter tires?

Whether or not you use winter tires is your choice, but make sure to check local laws before making a purchase!

There is a difference between winter tires and studded tires. Studded tires are best when you’re living in an area that has a lot of snow and ice, but they’re unnecessary when the roads are paved and clear.

Winter tires without studs, on the other hand, are meant to work best at temperatures below 45 degrees, so they can be a good cold season option.

What if I have 4-wheel drive?

While four wheel drive can help give you more power, and get your car moving when you need to, it doesn’t help at all when it comes to braking or having the tires grip the road better to provide better steering control – only tires can help with that.

 

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