Today, the majority of cars rolling out of manufacturing units are fitted with all-season tires. As the winter approaches, one of the debates that run through the minds of car owners is if they should get winter tires. Here, we have provided a comparison between winter tires and all-season tires that will help you make the right decision.
What Are All Season Tires?
As we know, climatic conditions also change road conditions. All-season tires are built for year-round performance. They have good tread life and also provide a quieter ride that makes them popular with car owners. All-season tires are designed to perform well in dry and wet road conditions including light winter driving. Unlike other tires, all-season tires are designed to give combined benefits of winter and summer tires.
To provide good performance in different road conditions, all-season tires have to compromise on some winter and summer performance capabilities. For example, all-season tires cannot provide you with an extreme grip and sharp steering response like summer tires. Similarly, all-season tires perform poorly in extreme winter driving conditions like driving on ice or trekking through snow. In simple words, tennis shoes cannot perform well on beaches. According to experts, all-season tires are good for car owners who live in regions with moderate climates where they do not encounter extreme cold temperatures, snow or ice in the winter season.
What Are Winter Tires?
Winter tires are designed specifically for cold weather conditions. Here are some specific features of winter tires:
Special Tread Rubber
Ordinary tread rubber loses its flexibility in extremely cold conditions. The result is that the tire cannot provide enough traction in wet road conditions or ice-laden roads. Winter tires have special tread rubber that retains flexibility even in extremely cold temperatures. These tires remain flexible and provide good traction that is necessary for the safety of the car on the road.
Unique Tread Patterns
In all-weather tires, the tread pattern is designed to expel water. Winter tires have a unique tread pattern that is designed to expel water and snow and retain a grip on the road. The tread depth in winter tires is greater than all-weather tires. Deeper tread depth reduces snow buildup on tires and increases traction performance of tires.
Also known as sipes, they are thin slits molded in the smooth tread surface to increase traction in icy or snow-laden road conditions. Biting edges divides the treads into smaller tread blocks which help the tread elements lock together. Their design, quantity and location differ with every winter tire.
Which Tires Are Best for You?
The above comparison of winter tires and all-season tires gives you a better understanding of the characteristics of both tires. The bottom line is if the ice-laden roads and snow flurries are just for a short period in the region you stay, you can continue with all-season tires. If you stay in the region where the cold weather reaches an extreme, it is a wise decision to get winter tires.