It’s never a strange time to discuss tires, and if you’re going to need new ones soon, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The main consideration, of course, would be the climate in your area. Even if you don’t experience much rain but regularly encounter cold temperatures, all-season tires could be the better option.
In this blog, we help you understand the difference between winter tires vs. all-season tires so that you could make a more informed tire purchase for your vehicle.
Snow Tires Vs. All-Season Tires
What Are All-Season Tires?
The typical all-season tire’s main attributes are an extended tread life, good wet and dry road traction, and a comfortable ride. All-season tires are the most popular choice in North America for passenger cars, SUVs, and light trucks. If you live in a climate with mild temperatures and rarely encounter snow and ice, one set of durable all-season tires can serve you perfectly well year-round.
All-season tires feature a harder tread compound than the tread rubber used in a winter tire. This is because the rubber has to last longer and grip at a more extensive temperature range. All-season tires are designed for climates that rarely have temperatures below freezing. In fact, below 42 degrees °F (6 degrees °C), the rubber in all-season tires starts to harden. The tires continue to work okay at these lower temperatures, but not with dedicated winter tires’ traction level.
The open tread channels, and small thin grooves, also called sipes, allow water to evacuate quickly from under the tire in the rain. The sipes are also like an extra biting edge for the tire to grip onto the road surface. At any instant, there are dozens of grooves and tread sipes in contact with the road. This is the crucial feature of all-season tires; to provide the traction you expect to have in heavy rain, and in light ice and snow, without trading off tread-life or dry road handling.
What Are Winter Tires?
True to its name, winter tires’ main attribute is to provide your vehicle grip on cold, dry roads, traction on snow, and traction on ice. To deliver this type of performance, the tire needs to have many biting edges and plenty of rubber in contact with the road.
A typical winter tire usually features wider circumferential grooves separating rows of heavily siped tread blocks. This type of tread pattern puts the most amount of rubber in contact with the road to ensure the most biting edges per square inch.
The sipes in winter tires are zig-zagged instead of straight, which allows the biting edges to be longer. The zig-zag sipes’ interlocking nature maintains the integrity and stiffness of the tread block, which is particularly important for safe winter driving. Additionally, some winter tires are designed to take studs. When metal studs are installed in the molded holes in the tread, the tire has even more traction on snow-covered roads and ice. Another winter tires attribute is softer tread rubber than all-season tires, which stays soft at temperatures even well below the freezing point. This gives the vehicle more traction on cold, dry roads.
If you’re looking to upgrade your tires, then you must head over to the Car Factory. We specialize in both all-season and winter tires and will get your vehicle up and running in no time at all. Book an appointment today by calling us at 786-406-6234 or visit our website for more information.