Winter Tires, Are They Worth Buying?By: Tina Volpe - December 15, 2013
Winter is here, and for most of the country the roads are slick, icy and full of snow. Is it worth it to buy snow or winter tires?
Many drivers who live in icy snowy winters use all-season tires throughout the year and some use chains. But winter tires or snow tires can be a better choice, if the winters are extended.
Deciding whether winter tires are worth the cost, not to mention the time and trouble to remove and store when no longer needed, it might be a good idea to look at the differences in tires and understand their purpose.
Summer tires are designed to use in warm weather, obviously, and perform best when there is no chance of snow and ice. They are not made to withstand cold and freezing weather, they could crack and wear too quickly. But, they do have better traction on wet and dry pavement than other kind of tires. However, they tend to wear out more quickly than all-season tires.
All-season tires have deeper and more sturdy tread designed to grip the road better in all seasons, and perform well in a more varied temperature range than summer tires. They also, because of the thicker and more sturdy tread, last longer than summer or street tires.
Winter tires are made to perform better in snow and ice, remaining more flexible and soft in an effort to grab the road more efficiently . They feature extra thin grooves, also called sipes, a feature that creates numerous tread edges for added grip. As the winter tires turn, the treads open and close, which is designed to push snow away from the tire.
Winter tires, however, don’t perform well for non-winter conditions. They have proven to wear more quickly than all-season tires or summer tires on dry or rainy roads. So changing them during spring and summer conditions is a must.
Checking out prices of all season tires as opposed to winter tires, depending on your climate, will determine whether winter/snow tires will keep you safer in cold and snowy regions. Tests prove they are the best performers in wintery conditions.
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