At first glance, all tires look pretty much the same. However they are designed to work differently and are therefore suitable for most climate-dependent vehicles such as cars, trucks and buses.
Winter tires in particular can make a significant difference to the cold development of your vehicle. Tire technology has come a long way in recent years and have made driving safer than ever.
Advancements of technology in modern cars and trucks makes driving safer, more intuitive and more comfortable. It is easy to overlook the importance of tires.
Although we do not consider tires to be a relatively high-tech component. They are one of the most important parts to keeping a vehicle safe.
Next time you are driving at 55 mph on the freeway and you are thinking about your getting home to your family or getting dinner on the way, remember your tires made of rubber are the only thing keeping your car connected to the road
Tire manufacturers have invested many millions of dollars over decades to develop new compounds specifically suited to cold weather conditions, as well as new materials for winter tires.
Here are some basic things to know about tires, how they work and which ones are best for winter driving .
Which Tire Works Best?
All-season tires (often referred to as threes-season tires) might not be the best option if you live in an area with a lot of snow and cold temps.
If you live in a town or state where the average winter temperature is below 44 degrees then all-season tires are not the best choice. All-season tires are made for temperature as low as 44 degrees.
Anything lower than this and the rubber starts to harden causing the tire to be more prone to skidding, sliding or hydroplaning (the phenomenon when the tires lose contact with the road).
This can be very dangerous as you could lose control of your car, leading to an accident.
Unlike all-season tires, all-weather tires are made to be used all year. They do not have the same limitation to cold weather like all-season tires.
They are perfect as they do not require changing tires or strong them in the winter. All-weather tires are made with a flexible rubber which enhances contact with the road in cold weather.
Though all-season tire have great benefit they are really meant for milder winter climate such as Missouri, Virginia or Kansas. It would be recommended for areas such as Montana, Minnesota or Wisconsin
If you live in a place with a lot of snow, you should think about getting winter tires. Winter tires are made with a special rubber compound which helps the tires perform better in colder weather.
Unlike all-season, winter tires start working better when the temperature drops below 44 degrees. These are some important differences that can have a significant impact on the performance of your vehicle as well as weather conditions.
Winter tires like all-weather tires are designed with deeper groves to push the slush and water away. This process helps the tires get better traction and improves performance and safety.
There are no state which requires winter tires. We highly recommend them as they help keep your family safe and could lower your insurance rates.
How Much Do Winter Tires Cost?
The cost of winter tires could be the biggest reason for people not using them. On average tires will range from $200-$800. This cost does not include secondary wheels if you want to have them on different than the manufacturer wheels.
We recommend this method as it will save you in the long run. Taking off and putting on wheels is much cheaper than taking off the tires every season. The difference in cost is the cost to rebalance the tires every season.
Though this seems like a steep investment, they do last around 6 seasons as there is less wear and tear on the rubber. The key is to change the tires before the weather gets too hot.
If you live in an area of the country like Alaska where the winter can be harsh winter tires make a great investment for safety alone. According to many studies winter tires stop 40% faster than all-season tires.
This could be a difference to getting into an accident leading to damages and injuries. These could lead to an at fault accident claim and increasing your insurance rates
Do Winter Tires Save On Insurance?
There is no definitive answer to this question because not all car insurance companies offer it and not all ZIP codes would qualify. For example if you live in Miami or Los Angeles where snowfall is non-existent then winter tires would not be beneficial and would not lead to any car insurance discounts.
If you live in the northern city like Milwaukee or Detroit then winter tires make a lot of sense in the winter months. Some insurance companies may have discounts for winter tires which could save you 5%-10%.
The bigger savings they offer is the safety which could save you from having an at-fault accident. One claim could increase your insurance premiums by as much as 40%
Though there is not one size fit all solution to the type of tire you have on your car. There is no doubt winter tires make your drive safer if you live where the winters are harsh and the snowfall is high. If you do not live in Colorado but you live in a state that has a mild winter then maybe all-weather is the way for you.
Winter tires are not cheap but they could save you thousands of dollars in repairs or car insurance rates. They stop better than all-season tires making them the safer option in cold, snowy and slushy roads.