Snow Tires: What Makes them a Great Pick

As a vehicle owner, you want to know what tires work best for your case, based on the season. Even if you have heard your friend using all-season season in the winter, you want to evaluate the pros and cons and decide if you can handle the worst. If you are wondering whether you need tires specifically designed for the winter or how to choose the right ones, consider the following:

Why Use Snow Tires

Snow tires are necessary for safe driving when you live somewhere which gets snow, sleet, ice, and freezing rain. Also, you need these tires if the temperature drops to at least 40 degrees. You surely cannot go wrong with winter tires if you routinely make trips through mountains during the winter or snow zones.

Understand the Marks

A number of all-season tires are rated M+S which stands mud and snow. This signifies that the tread design delivers better traction in wet conditions than tires that don’t have this rate. However, these tires may not be adequate for winter driving. These tires do not deliver the traction, short stopping distance, and control in slick conditions that snow tires can provide. Tires branded with the Mountain Snowflake are tested and certified to perform in winter conditions.

Should you Use Snow Tires if you Have All-Season Tires?

When driving on icy or snowy roads, you can depend only on winter tires to give you great stopping ability and secure handling. This has to do with their unique build. Here’s how snow tires can do better in snow and ice than all-season tires:

  • Unique compounds. All-season and summer tires are made with a stiffer rubber compound so they can retain their shape when rolling on hot pavement. But, snow tires are made with hydrophilic rubber that tends to stay softer and more pliable in cold weather. This rubber provides the tires with more traction on ice and snow.
  • Tread design. Tires designed for the winter have a higher void-to-lug ration which means that there are bigger grooves between the blocks of tread. Also, the tread blocks have irregular, sharp edges. Tires with wide grooves and biting edges that travel over packed snow will cut through and scoop the snow into the tire surface’s void, letting the tread stay in contact with the road. This snow is then ejected from the grooves through the tire velocity. Because of this, snow tires have better traction than other types of tires.