Winter Vs. All-Season Tires: What’s The Difference?

Winter weather conditions can quickly turn an average road into a death trap if your vehicle isn’t prepared to handle slush, sleet, ice, and snow. That’s why winter tires are one of the biggest necessities when it comes to winter weather driving.

All-season tires from your local auto shop might function well in warmer weather, but they don’t provide your car with the safety and performance it needs for driving regularly in cold weather conditions.

What makes winter tires different from all-season tires?

All-season tires wear well in most driving conditions, but winter tires make it safer to drive on slippery roads. Consider the following benefits winter tires have that make them great for driving in cold weather conditions:

  1. Soft rubber. All-season tires are overly firm, which reduces the amount of surface area in contact with the road. On a dry road, this provides all the traction you need to stop and turn your tires. Winter tires are made of a soft rubber that stays flexible enough to retain traction in cold weather. This keeps your vehicle from fishtailing and sliding on icy roads.
  2. Edges. When you make a turn, your car tires expand. This is because they’re shifting under the weight of your vehicle and the force of the turn. In cold weather, this expansion pushes your tires into the snow. All-season tires don’t have the edges you need to keep you from slipping and losing traction when you make those turns. Winter tires have small slits on their edges, which created a consistency similar to sandpaper. This gives your tires more traction in your turns so you don’t slide.
  3. Tread. Tread is the biggest difference between winter tires and all-season tires. All-season tires have shallow treads. These work well in warmer weather because they easily stick to rough payment. But because winter roads are slippery, the shallow treads on all-season tires don’t create the friction you need to drive safely. Winter tires have deeper treads that are able to turn snow and sleet into a drivable surface.

Where can I find a tire shop near me?

It’s important to replace your vehicle’s tires once winter arrives to give your car more grip on the road. But it’s also good to remember to rotate your tires at least once every 7,500 miles when you get your oil change at your local tire shop.


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