We’re not jumping the gun here. When those unpredicted snow storms hit (and the weatherman is wrong), it’s helpful to know how you’re going to get out of your driveway and through the foot of snow. That’s when it’s important to know everything there is to know about snow tires—or at least to have all your questions about snow tires answered so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your car this winter.
What is the difference between all-season and winter tires?
Tires are the epitome of give and take. All-season tires, the most common tires on our cars, are designed for rain, heat, cold and snow. They give you a good all-around tire for those conditions, but the “take” is that they are not specially equipped for winter. They can’t be when they also need to be built to take on 100 degree asphalt as well. All-season tires deliver okay performance no matter what the condition.
For drivers looking for extra traction, research your snow tire options. Snow tires are specially designed to handle all the snow that our Wisconsin winters dump on the roads. Constructed with a softer compound and tread pattern designed specifically for getting through winter precipitation, snow tires can dig down and find traction on even the roughest roads.
Do I need snow tires even when I have traction control?
Traction control is not a replacement for snow tires; traction control adjusts the speed of your tires to conditions, but does not give your vehicle more traction to get through the snow. Really the best remedy for getting through the snow this winter is snow tires. They give you the security and traction you need to take on that forecasted polar vortex—and all the snow that comes with it.
When should I put snow tires on and take them off?
Though it might be tempting to leave those snow tires on year round, those same advantages during winter can be a huge disadvantage during the warmer and drier times of the year. You’ll find the tires wear faster, create more noise and do not perform as well during spring and summer months.
That’s why it’s best to put snow tires on your car when the temperature drops consistently below 45, and to use that same temperature guide when deciding when to remove your snow tires. When the temperatures start hitting the upper 40’s or low 50’s on a regular basis, it’s time to take the snow tires off—but try not to make the switch too soon. You don’t want to get stuck in a spring snow storm on all-season tires when you bought a set of snow tires for safety and increased traction.
If you want to enjoy all these advantages of winter tires without the hassle of unmounting and mounting tires to your rims, invest in another set of rims. You can put your all-season tires one set of rims, and your winter tires on another, making the winter swap faster and easier.
How much do snow tires cost?
The cost of your snow tires depends on the size of tires you need; you can find your recommended tire size in your manufacturer’s manual. Some cars also have the recommended tire size on a label in the driver’s side door frame. To find out the cost of snow tires, shop our online tire store or contact us to find out your snow tire options and cost.