Staying safe in the winter can mean a change of tires before the snow flies, but some feel that all-weather or all-season tires will get them through the whole year. So, when you’re standing in the tire shop, what should you be considering when choosing winter tires? This guide will look at your options and help you decide.

All-weather tires

All-weather tires are designed to perform well in warm and cold climates and on wet or dry roads. They have an asymmetric tread pattern which helps disperse water away from the tire’s contact patch with the road surface for improved traction on slippery surfaces, such as snow or ice-covered roads during winter months when temperatures drop below 7°C (45°F). 

The main benefit of all-weather tires is convenience because you no longer need two sets of seasonal-specific tires. This means less cost for the tires, no more paying to swap out the tires every six months, and avoids the problem of storing the other set when not in use. All-weather tires are made with softer rubber, which means lower rolling resistance, better fuel economy, and reduced emissions. Some tires come with noise reduction technology which means quieter rides even at high speeds.

All-season tires

All-season tires feature a unique tread pattern with large grooves that allow them to quickly evacuate water from beneath the tire’s contact patch when driving on wet surfaces. This helps reduce hydroplaning so you can maintain control of your vehicle even during heavy downpours or icy conditions. 

The rubber compound used in all-season tires is also specially formulated to remain flexible at lower temperatures, allowing them to grip slick surfaces more effectively than traditional summer or winter tires. Additionally, all-season tires often have sipes (tiny slits) cut into their tread blocks, further enhancing traction by biting into snowy terrain. 

Another great benefit of all-season tires is their long life span due to their robust construction. Unlike dedicated summer or winter tires, they don’t need replacing every few months because they’re designed for use throughout the year. This means less money spent over time on new sets of tires.  

Winter tires

Winter tires are specially designed for use during the winter season. They provide superior traction and grip on icy, wet, or snowy roads compared to regular all-season tires. Winter tires also help improve vehicle stability and handling in cold temperatures when driving over slick surfaces.

The biggest benefit of winter tires is their improved traction on snow and ice-covered roads. The treads of a winter tire are made with a softer rubber compound that stays flexible in colder temperatures which helps them bite into slippery surfaces better than an all-season tire can do when it’s cold out. This means they can provide more control while braking, accelerating, turning corners, or navigating through slushy conditions, especially important if you live somewhere with heavy snowfall each year. 

What makes a good winter tire?

A good winter tire should have several key features that make it suitable for use in cold temperatures and icy roads. We discuss them briefly below.

Tread pattern

Look for a tread pattern designed specifically for snow and ice traction. The more aggressive the tread design, the better grip your tires will have when driving through slush or over packed snow. 

Rubber compound

A good quality rubber compound helps maintain flexibility at lower temperatures while providing superior grip on wet roads compared to standard all-season tires. Many manufacturers offer specific compounds formulated just for use in colder climates; these often feature a higher silica content, allowing them to remain flexible even at low temperatures without sacrificing durability or performance under normal circumstances.  

Tire construction

Look for stiffer sidewalls that can resist flexing too much under load, allowing you to control your vehicle even when turning sharply at high speeds. Also, look out if there are any extra reinforcements, such as steel belts or polyester cords, running around the circumference of each tire. This provides additional strength against punctures while still maintaining comfortable ride characteristics.

How Simplicity Car Care can help

If you’re looking for advice and top-quality tires ready to plow through anything winter has to throw at them, contact Simplicity Car Care, the car service experts who can help with winter tires and wheel repair. If you do find yourself in an accident this winter, Simplicity Car Care auto body shop will get your car repaired and back on the road fast.