Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires: Which Should I Have On My Vehicle?

November 29th, 2017 by

To determine which tires would be beneficial to your vehicle, consider the weather and road conditions you experience where you often drive.

All Season Tires are the typical tires your vehicle will have on when it leaves the factory. All season tires are built for a good tread life, quiet ride & good fuel economy (Bridgestone). They offer versatile performance and perform in multiple driving conditions; including wet roads and light winter driving (Bridgestone).

All season tires won’t necessarily give your vehicle the best capabilities of both summer and winter tires, instead some max summer and winter performance capabilities (Bridgestone). All season tires will not provide the same amount of extreme grip and sharp handling of a summer tire, and it will not be able to handle the extreme winter conditions such as driving on ice or heavy snow (Bridgestone).

So, who should primarily have all season tires? If you live in moderate climates like California or Florida, it is best to have all season tires on your vehicle. For those who live in states such as Minnesota, Maine or Massachusetts, you may want to highly consider putting winter tires on your vehicle. 

Snow & Winter tires are very important in areas that experience extreme driving conditions. Winter tires perform best in these conditions because of their unique features: tread rubber, tread depth & patterns and biting edges (Bridgestone). Tread rubber compounds of winter tires are designed to remain flexible, which allows the tire to grip the road better (Bridgestone). Whereas the tread rubber of all season tires stiffens & does not provide the same traction as winter tires do.

The tread depths on winter tires are much deeper and have unique tread patterns. This will be beneficial driving on snow because it reduces the amount of snow buildup and gives your vehicle much better traction on the snow. The number of biting edges is increased on winter tires; meaning there are thousands of tiny little slits in the tread of the tire to provide better traction on ice (Bridgestone).

So, if you decide your vehicle needs winter tires be sure to install a full set. Only changing the two front tires will increase the chances of your rear tires to skid, and only changing the back two tires will increase the chances of the front tires to lose traction (Bridgestone).

References

Bridgestone. WINTER & SNOW TIRES VS. ALL SEASON TIRES. November 29, 2017.

Tip Hero. Top 10 States with the Most Miserable Winters. November 29, 2017.