All-Season Tires Vs. Winter Tires

“I have all-season tires. I’m ready for any kind of weather.” We hear you, but unfortunately, you are wrong about this. If you live in California, Florida or Texas, then your all-season tires are undoubtedly sufficient for the weather and road conditions in those states. Up here in New England, however, it’s a different story. You need to have tires that give you the traction and stability to meet the challenge of winter roads up here. Sure, driving an SUV with 4WD and advanced traction control like the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a start, but when it comes to tires, the only ones able to provide what your car really needs are winter tires.
Below we’ll analyze the basic differences between the two:

1. Tread pattern
All-season tires usually feature a simple tread pattern and are recognizable by the three or four straight lines they have running through the middle of the tire. Winter tires, on the other hand, have more jagged and even random-looking patterns. They almost look aggressive; ready to roll into battle. The winter tire tread gives much better stability on the road, and some even come with metal studs in them for extra traction.

2. Materials
All-season tires are typically made from a firmer material compounds, which are not suitable for the extreme cold. They do, however, ensure a longer tread life in a temperate climate free of any temperature extreme. Frigid temperatures require softer tires that make better contact with the road, thus giving better traction.

3. Use in different weather conditions
Winter tires are typically recommended for any area that experiences winter weather below 44-45 degrees (7 degrees Celsius). Unfortunately, all-season tires are not designed to maintain proper traction below these temperatures. The snow and ice brought on by the New England winter demands a more durable and purpose-built tire.

It’s understandable why some drivers are hesitant to make a special purchase of winter tires. They’re not the cheapest item on the shelf, nor are they easy to store unless you have a garage with enough free space. It’s also a hassle to get them put on and then taken off again in the spring. Furthermore, the other type of tire is billed as “ALL season,” right? The truth is, they are more like “three-season” tires. They are fine in the mild-to-hot months of the year, but winter is a harsh mistress, especially in Connecticut and the rest of the Northeast. For better traction, safer braking distances, and greater safety for you and your passengers in winter, we strongly recommend you consider winter tires.

Seek help at your local dealership if you have further questions or need help finding the most suitable tires for your car.

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