Even if you don’t own a Porsche or a Tesla, maintaining a car can get very expensive over the time that you own the vehicle. This is why reliability is such a big deal when shopping around for a vehicle. You may be tempted to save some money on winter tires because of this, so we’re going to see if all-season tires are good in the snow.
No, all-season tires are not good in the snow. While this may seem like the name is misleading, the simple fact is that all-season tires are designed to be as versatile as possible. This means that the tires are not specialized enough to offer good or safe performance in the snow.
Keep in mind that there are a few different reasons why you would want to avoid using all-season tires in the snow, so we’re going to take a more detailed look at what you need to know over the course of this guide. We’ll explore what makes winter tires more suitable and we’ll also see what can go wrong if you use all-season tires during the winter months.
Are All-Season Tires Good in the Snow?
When a car like an Audi or a BMW comes off of the production line, it usually comes installed with all-season tires. These tires are designed to be as versatile as possible, as their name suggests, which makes them a perfect option to equip the vast majority of cars with.
However, in spite of the name, all-season tires aren’t exactly designed for all seasons. This term simply means that the tires are versatile enough to be used in a variety of conditions. For example, all-season tires won’t have any trouble during dry summers when the temperature rises, but they’ll also be great during the spring and fall when rain becomes a bit more common.
Compared to genuine summer tires, however, your all-season tires won’t provide as much grip and they won’t be able to handle as well. This is because all-season tires are usually harder and they have deeper grooves so that they’ll be able to deal with rain more effectively than summer tires.
The same is true for the winter, as all-season tires aren’t able to put up with the levels of snow and ice that winter tires can deal with. That being said, all-season tires are still able to put up with light snow during the early winter, though we’d recommend changing them out ASAP for your safety.
Where Can I Use All-Season Tires in the Winter?
All-season tires are only truly all-season in places where the winter isn’t that intense. For example, if you live somewhere like Florida, then you’ll probably be able to get away with using all-season tires all year, and this can dramatically cut down on how much it costs to maintain your car.
Why Shouldn’t I Use All-Season Tires in the Winter?
So what are the dangers inherent in using all-season tires during the winter time? The main issue is that snow and ice will compromise the performance of your vehicle and make it more difficult for you to be able to drive safely. This is largely due to how all-season tires aren’t designed with snow and ice in mind.
This means that your car will more easily lose traction while you’re driving over winter roads. At best, this can make driving a risky experience. At worst, it means that you can lose control of your vehicle and end up in a serious accident because your tires weren’t suitable for the weather you were driving in.
All-Season vs. Winter Tires
You may be wondering about the differences between all-season tires and winter tires, so here are some of the most important ones.
The first difference is that winter tires are made with a different kind of rubber for the treads. This is because all-season tires and summer tires will stiffen up due to the lower temperatures in the winter months, meaning that the tires will provide less traction because they don’t adhere to the road as easily.
On the other hand, winter tires are made with different types of rubber formulae that are designed to stay more flexible in colder temperatures. If the tire is less stiff, it will be able to stick to the road with greater ease, even if you’re driving over snow and ice.
Another factor that makes winter tires more suitable for use in the winter time is the design of the treads. The treads on these tires are a lot deeper, meaning that the tires can deal with more snow before their handling is compromised, making it harder for the tire to make good contact with the road.
Keep in mind that the pattern of the tread also comes into play when determining how well a tire will perform in adverse conditions. The tread patterns of winter tires are designed to get water and snow out of the wheel as it rotates, allowing it to deal with more snow as you drive further along instead of having the snow get compacted in the tread itself.
Finally, winter tires also feature additional biting edges, which are small slits that are made in the edges of the tire’s contact surface. This allows the tread to give you additional traction and handling while you’re driving over ice that would otherwise make it impossible to get a good grip with summer tires.
Should You Buy Winter Tires?
Keep in mind that the necessity of winter tires depends on where you live. Like we mentioned earlier, if snow is rare where you live and it’s usually not that serious, then you’re better off sticking with all-season tires. On the other hand, if your winters are serious and you deal with a lot of snow, it’s a good idea to get your hands on some winter tires.
If you’re going to purchase winter tires, make sure that you have a place to store your other tires when you’re not using them. Rotating your tires in and out over the course of the seasons also has the benefit of wearing them out less so you’ll be able to use them for longer.