The dilemma that all drivers face every year when winter weather arrives is about the type of tires on their vehicles. There are two main kinds of tires which are available, all-seasons and winter tires. However, these two tires have their advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will explore these two options to help you make the best decision.
Even though all-season tires are advertised for the four seasons, they are not recommended for winter driving. The rubber of the all-season tires stays firm but flexible over a wider range of temperatures, but they are not as effective for extreme weather conditions. This is proven that when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius, the grip on all-season tires decreases significantly.
The advantages of having all-season tires is they stay on all year and you do not have to buy and install a second set. Moreover, you do not have to store the ones you are not using. In some instances, an individual may need to pay for a storage room to store the second set of tires along with the rims. The main downfall of all-season tires is that they simply aren’t as good as winter tires when the weather turns for the worse. Whereas, winter tires have a more aggressive tread for biting into snow, and they can channel away large quantities of slush and water.
As the name states for winter tires, that is the main season these tires are meant to be driven. These tires are not meant just for the winter, but they are designed for cold weather that can be dry, snowy, or rainy. These tires have grooves which move away slush and snow, and they have lots of sipes which are the tiny slits in the tread which improve grip and help prevent the vehicle from hydroplaning.
The main advantage of winter tires is their performance. This is true even for even all-wheel drive vehicles. Winter tires improve overall handling of the vehicle and reduce braking distances compared to all-seasons. However, even winter tires have their disadvantages; the main one is that the individual is buying, installing, and storing two sets of tires and two sets of rims. Buying two sets of rims is beneficial because it reduces the wear and tear of breaking each tire off its rim twice a year. The second disadvantage of these tires is if your vehicle is equipped with a direct tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), which uses sensors mounted inside the tires, you will have to buy four new sensors or your TPMS won’t work when you winter tires are on your vehicle. It is recommended to remove winter tires promptly in the spring because their softer compound wears out faster on warm pavement.
Lastly, the road and weather conditions are the main deciding factors for which tires you should put on your vehicle. Just remember your tires need to have sufficient tread, and no cracks or bulges in the sidewall. Safe driving ahead in the upcoming summer season.