Most new cars now come equipped with all-season tires. All-season tires are designed to offer solid performance in a range of driving conditions. It’s easy to see all-season tires as the default tire option, but the truth is more complicated. All-season tires might serve you well throughout the year, but some drivers still benefit from (or indeed need) winter tires. Should you trust all-season tires vs winter tires when the winter weather arrives?
Winter Tires vs All-Season Tires: Which Should I Buy?
Advantages of All-Season Tires
All-season tires perform well in varied circumstances. These versatile tires give drivers the edge in many conditions. The benefits of using all-season tires include:
- All-season tires are lighter than winter tires, increasing the performance of your car.
- Have tread patterns that shift water away in wet or rainy conditions.
- Are significantly more durable than winter tires. While winter tires are usually manufactured to get you through one cold season, all-season tires can last up to 80,000 miles.
- All-season tires suffice if you don’t live in a region with very cold or snowy winters. If your area never dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you won’t need winter tires.
- All-season tires are suitable for nearly all vehicles.
- Using all-season tires saves fuel.
- All-season tires perform well on different terrain and in wet weather. Although all-season tires should be your default choice, they aren’t ideal if you live in an area that experiences extreme winter weather.
Advantages of Winter Tires
If you live in an area with cold winters and heavy snowfall, winter tires are a must. Winter tires offer distinct advantages in winter conditions because:
- Winter tires offer a better grip in snow and ice conditions, even when driving at higher speeds.
- Winter snow tires are made with rubber compounds that withstand cold temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below. These softer rubber compounds remain flexible despite the freezing cold, which improves traction in icy conditions.
- Winter tires have complex patterns that allow them to trudge through the snow and slush.
You may get away with snow-rated all-terrain tires if your winters are mild and your area only enjoys occasional light snow. However, drivers who live in regions with predictably cold and snowy winters should invest in winter tires. Winter tires will help keep you safe on icy roads.
Other Types of Specialized Tires
Winter tires and all-terrain tires aren’t your only tire options. Other dedicated tires made to perform their best in specific conditions include:
Summer tires are designed for drivers in hot climates. The tread design on summer tires is geared toward high-performance vehicles.
Off-road tires are best for drivers who use trucks or SUVs and frequently go off-road — think camping or fishing.
Are you still in doubt? Asking a local auto mechanic for advice is an excellent idea.
Additional Reading: Omaha Winter Car Care Tips
Dave & Rays Automotive Repair Shop in Omaha, NE
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