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Resources > Should You Consider Winter Tires?

Winter tires, or snow tires, are designed to provide extra traction, braking, and handling during the winter season where road conditions can deteriorate as snow, slush, and ice form on the road surface.

If you are in an area that receives only lights amount of snow each winter, all-season tires are the way to go for you. They will save you time and money from having to switch wheels or tires out every time the season changes. However, if you regularly receive icy or snowy conditions, they are a smart investment that can save your vehicle when the conditions deteriorate.

So that begs the question: What are the advantages of Winter Snow Tires?

  • A winter tire’s tread design is very important. It includes specialized “lugs” that are raised blocks of tread designed to channel snow, ice, slush or water away from the tire’s surface and improve “bite” where traction has been diminished by snow or slush build-up on the road surface. Winter snow tires also have more “sipes,” or razor-thin grooves within the tread. These “sipes” allow better contact between the tires and wet road surfaces by providing additional biting surface in wet or snowy conditions.
  • Some winter-use tires are designed to allow for the installation of “studs,” small, sturdy metal pins almost like nail points that can be inserted into the tread. Studs provide increased bite in icy conditions. It’s a good idea to check with your state or municipality to determine whether studs are legal. They can contribute to the deterioration of some road surfaces.

Why do you need to buy winter snow tires in full sets?

Winter snow tires provide optimal traction in adverse winter conditions the likes of which cannot be replicated by normal all-season tires. It is assumed by many that simply putting two winter tires on the drive wheels of a vehicle will deliver the traction and safety needed in winter driving. However, this is NOT the case. The two winter snow tires would provide unequal grip compared to the non-winter tires. For example, if winter tires were installed on the front wheels of a front wheel drive vehicle, the rear of the vehicle could lose traction much sooner in an abrupt turning situation causing the car tail to break loose. This could result in a spin out.

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