Winter vs All-Season Tires, Which are Better for Me?

December 7th, 2022 by

Vehicle on road in winter With winter upon us, it is important to make sure your tires are ready to handle the impending conditions.  Blowing snow, wind, ice and rain all affect how your vehicle drives. Choosing the right tires for your vehicle will help to keep you safe on the roads all winter long.

So, how do you know what kind of tires you need?  There are 2 types of tires to consider in the winter months, and we want to help find what’s right for you.  

Depending on your needs, you may require either winter tires or all-season tires.  By understanding a bit more about the difference between the two, we are here to help make your car maintenance and upgrades to your tires as simple as possible.

What are Winter Tires?

Designed to withstand extreme road conditions, winter tires help provide better traction in the colder months. As snow accumulates and icy conditions worsen in the coming months, winter tires provide a safer alternative to driving in challenging conditions.  

Winter tires are made with a unique tread rubber– meaning that the rubber used to produce the tires is designed to be more flexible with changing temperatures.  

Additionally, winter tires are designed with a deeper tread depth, meaning they provide more flexibility and ultimately better traction on icy and snowy roads.  Compared to all-season tires, winter tires have a unique tread pattern designed to expel snow and water, keeping a stronger grip on the roads.  

Winter tires are most useful in areas that face below-freezing conditions on a regular basis.  If you live in an area with fluctuating or below-freezing temperatures and regular snowfall, you may consider swapping out your tires in the winter months.  

If you do decide that winter tires are the right choice for you, it is important to swap out all of the tires on your vehicle.  Changing out only 2 tires rather than all 4 actually is more dangerous and puts your vehicle at a higher risk of skidding due to the uneven tread.  Instead, just replace all 4 tires and drive safely all winter long!

What are All-Season Tires?

Designed like the name would suggest, all-season tires offer a combination of benefits to your vehicle, allowing you to drive between various conditions.  All-season tires are designed to be much more versatile than winter tires, with a different tread rubber and depth. 

If you live in a more moderate climate that doesn’t drop below freezing often, all-season tires may be a better option for your vehicle.  All-season tires are designed to hold up well on all kinds of roads. Especially in regions that don’t get ice or snow, they may be a better fit and help your vehicle drive more smoothly for longer.  

Most vehicles come pre-fitted with all-season tires, but it is worth checking the tires you have on your existing vehicle to be sure.  

Cost and Benefits of Winter vs All-Season Tires

If winter tires seem like the right option for you, do note that replacing your existing tires for winter ones may come at a slightly higher cost.  A set of 4 winter tires may cost you around $600 and will be more expensive than all-season tires. However, if you are driving on icy roads all winter long, it may be worth the higher price point to ensure easier driving.  Ask yourself the following questions to determine which tires are right for you:

  • What kind of tires are currently on my vehicle and how have they been driving in my climate?
  • Am I regularly driving on icy or snowy roads?
  • Do I live somewhere with consistently below-freezing temperatures?

Whether you are wanting to swap for winter tires or stick with all-season tires, this time of year is also a good opportunity to check how your current tires are holding up.  By using the penny method to check the tread levels of your tire, you can see if it is time to replace your current tires.  To check the tread level on your tires simply follow the following steps:

  1. Take a penny and flip it upside down (So Lincoln’s head is facing down)
  2. Insert the penny in between the “tread ribs” of your tire (the “ribs” are the raised portion of the tire) so that it touches the lowest part of your tire between the raised areas
  3. See if the top of Lincoln’s head disappears between the “ribs” 
  4. Repeat this process at various points on various tires to see what your tread levels are like
  5. If Lincoln’s head disappears, it means that your tread levels are still in good condition.  If you can see Lincoln’s head, it means your tread has worn down and it may be time for you to replace your tires. 

Additionally, check out our 6 tricks to make sure you’re not killing your car for some extra tips and tricks to keep you driving all winter long.  

Here to Help 

The winter months can be hard on your vehicle, and it’s important to update more than just your tires.  Winterizing your vehicle is an important way to stay safe and keep your car driving smoothly.  Be sure to follow our Winter Car Tips for Staying Safe When its Cold.

Here at Carhop, we are always here to get you driving.  Not only do we want to help get you on the road, but we want to get you driving safely.  We are here to offer you a wide selection of used vehicles to fit your needs and keep you safe in the climate you live in.  

Get started with your approval today and let us help get you driving!

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