It’s that time of year — the time when you must decide if you should stick with your all-season tires, or splurge (for safety reasons, of course) on snow tires. The answer lies somewhere between where you live, the amount of snowfall you can expect, and the type of budget you’re on. Well, you’re in luck. We’ve done the research and have all you need to know when choosing between all-season and snow tires.
All-season tires are just what the name says: tires generally made to function well on any road condition, whether it be dry, wet, or light snow. Knowing just how well these tires do in snow conditions may give you a definitive answer on whether or not you need to make an upgrade.
- You can use these tires in all-season conditions (look for the M+S mark on the sidewall to make sure they have been approved for use in mud and snow by the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association (RMA).
- They are durable, and are made to provide stable handling and treadwear in both wet and dry conditions..
- All-Season tires also require less maintenance and can be left on your car the entire year.
- Less expensive than snow tires
- Will not handle well in anything above light snow. Tread will harden in freezing temperatures, often resulting in less traction between the tire and the road.
- Tread patterns are shallow, and not designed for gripping heavy snow and ice.
Winter Tires are not made for all seasons/road conditions, but they will protect you when it counts, in above average snow and icey conditions. Checking the average daily temperature of where you live can give you a better indication of whether or not you should purchase snow tires. It is recommended in Utah to use snow tires, and also required by law in some areas, like Snowbird.
- Snow Tires have aggressive tread that eliminates excessive snow build up.
- Many come with metal studs that can provide superior traction
- Perform well in snow, ice, slush, wet, and even dry roads
- Provide enhanced traction between tire and road
- Provide enhanced braking performance
- Overall better grip of the road
- Unlike all-season tires, snow tires do not offer precision handling.
- You have to purchase them in sets of four.
- Tires with metal studs can dig harshly into asphalt, causing damage to roads.
- Snow tires wear down quickly because they are made of soft rubber.
- Need to be changed out after winter for all-season or summer tires
- Generally more expensive than all-season tires.
It’s never a bad choice to go with snow tires when you can generally expect snow, ice, and freezing conditions. But maybe you just want some snow tires on hand in case you need them for a skiing trip. Whether you have questions about snow tires, or you get in an accident (hopefully not), remember Unique Auto Body for all your collision repair needs. Contact us at our three locations in Midvale, Saratoga Springs, and South Jordan.