Winter roads can be very unpredictable when snow and ice come into the mix, which is why having the right tires matters.
Many people question if winter tires are necessary or if using all season tires will work just as well. The fact of the matter is, winter road conditions challenge your tires like no other season and tires that are specifically designed for these conditions, like winter tires, are the perfect answer.
When picking your winter tires, there are three specific features you should be paying attention to: tread depth and pattern, biting edges and tread rubber.
Tread Depth and Patterns
Deeper tire treads will help prevent snow build-up while allowing your vehicle to have better traction in the snow. The tread patterns on winter tires are designed to channel snow and slush and expel water.
Tires are made to have tiny slits that help give them their traction. Winter tires have an increased number of slits, or biting edges, that increase their traction for icy road conditions.
The rubber used for all season tires will often become stiff and less able to provide sufficient traction in extreme cold temperatures. Rubber used for winter tires is designed to remain flexible so the tire can get a better grip on the road.
In addition to paying attention to these three winter tire features, it is also important that all four winter tires are identical and that a full set is installed on your vehicle. Only replacing the front or back set could lead to skidding, loss of traction, or difficulty steering.
Finally, always make sure to switch back to your all season tires once winter is over. Keeping winter tires on your vehicle year-round will wear down the treads faster, meaning you’ll need to purchase a new set sooner.