Some winters have less snow than others, and some have more ice than anything. When you have a mild winter without a lot of precipitation, all-season tires are usually fine. They provide enough traction for surface streets that are dry or have very little snow on them. However, when you get a winter with a lot of snow and ice, all-season tires might not be the best choice.
If you are looking for winter tires for this year’s expected snow, contact Bock Auto in the Hamptons, NY, for an appointment to change your all-seasons out for winter tires.
All-season tires are manufactured to provide exemplary performance in any driving condition. However, that means they compromise on maximum performance in the summer and winter. The grip in the winter is not as good as if you had winter tires, which means your vehicle will not handle as well in the snow.
All-season tires are also not designed for extreme winter conditions, especially driving on ice and through deep snow, since they do not have deep enough treads nor the biting edges required to help drive on ice.
Winter tires have softer tread, deeper sipes, and more tread that contacts the ground. Thus, they get better traction in snow and ice. Additionally, because they are made with a softer rubber compound, they don’t harden up as much in extreme cold and remain more flexible, which means they grip the road much better than a tire that hardens up in the cold. Other features include:
- The tread patterns are different, and the tread depth is deeper to help reduce snow buildup between the treads. The patterns are placed to channel snow, slush, and water to the rear and sides of the tire.
- The edges of winter tires feature more biting edges and more sipes – tiny slits – to help with traction on ice.
Winter Tires vs. All-Season Tires
Living in the Hamptons means having more ice to deal with because of the humidity and ocean spray. Even a mild winter could throw you a curveball, so having winter tires is a benefit. Changing over to winter tires before the cold sets in could keep you from sliding off the side of an ice-covered road.
When you choose to switch to winter tires, be sure to install a complete set. The wheels with all-season tires could still slide easily, even if they are not your drive tires. And, when spring gets here, be sure to switch back to all-season tires – winter tires are very durable during the cold winters, but the softer rubber tread won’t last long once the roads get hot.