All-season tires are designed to perform adequately in various weather conditions, including light snow and rain. But they may not provide the same level of traction and performance as dedicated winter tires in severe winter conditions. One of the most common questions during this time of year is whether you can keep using your all-season tires for the winter season.
What’s the Difference?
Winter tires are specifically engineered to handle low temperatures and icy/snowy road conditions. They have unique tread patterns and rubber compounds that stay pliable in cold weather, providing better grip and traction. The deeper tread and special features help enhance braking and handling on snow and ice.
All-season tires, however, are designed to cope with milder temperatures along with dry and wet road conditions. Most are rated for light snow but their performance in wintery conditions are not as good as dedicated winter tires. Lately, these all-season tires have been more commonly referred to as “3-season” tires because they perform well in Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons. But when the mercury dips below 7°C, winter tires should be equipped on your vehicle.
Below this 7°C threshold, the rubber compound of 3-season tires becomes harder, and the tread pattern can’t cope with heavy accumulation of snow. The more aggressive tread pattern of winter tires along with deeper grooves and sipes (small slits) enhance traction on snow and ice. The tread is designed to bite into snow and provide better grip in cold temperatures.
Can I use “All-Season” Tires in Winter?
The short answer is that you shouldn’t. While all-season tires provide versatility for a range of conditions, winter tires are specifically designed to excel in cold, snowy, and icy environments. Driving through snow on 3-season tires is like hiking up a mountain in flip flops. You can technically do it, but you’d be better off in hiking boots.
It’s the same principle for tires. Using the appropriate tire for the season is important. You are not only keeping yourself and your car safe but others around you as well.
Swap Your Tires Today
If you are hesitant to purchase winter tires of your own because of the lack of storage, we’re here to help. Our dealerships offer a no hassle and low-cost tire storage solution, so you don’t have to compromise space over safety. Our dealerships currently have many winter special offers as well that include tire rebates and discounted rates on installation. To learn more about tires, tire storage, or installation, contact any of our OpenRoad dealerships today.