What Makes Winter Tires Different?

Tread Compound & Design

Even the cheapest winter tires feature specialized tread compounds and advanced tread designs that help provide superior traction and stopping distance. In a contest between all-season and winter tires, winter tires improved braking performance by up to 20%. And tests in snow conditions revealed that vehicles with winter tires stopped around 28 feet shorter than the same vehicle with all-season tires. Winter tires tend to have better traction and handling in colder temperatures. The tread compound maintains its flexibility, which allows for enhanced grip on snow and ice.

Road Conditions

In addition to harsh winter weather, if you encounter many hills or sharp corners in your area, you might want the winter-ready traction and control of winter tires. Additionally, unplowed snow, slush or ice can be a hazard to you when driving, and winter tires can help you face that challenge.

Weather Conditions

Many people wonder how harsh the weather needs to be in order to get winter tires. The general consensus is that if you live in a place where the temperature is consistently below 45F/7.2C, or when you must drive in challenging winter conditions, winter tires may be a good choice for you. While all-season tires can provide some traction for wet and snowy conditions, there is no denying the enhanced traction and grip that winter tires provide to help create a safer and more comfortable driving winter experience.

Performance

When shopping for tires, keep in mind that your vehicle’s starting, stopping and turning abilities ultimately come down to the amount of traction your tires can offer on snowy or icy road surfaces.

Now that you know what makes your winter tires special, here is an additional piece of information to help you keep even the cheapest winter tires special and in good condition.

When to Put On Winter Tires

You’ll want to mount your winter tires before the bad weather hits and you’re caught off guard. When the outside temperature drops consistently below 45F/7.2C, it is time to install your vehicle’s winter tires.

When to Remove Winter Tires

Keep your winter tires on your vehicle until the driving conditions have improved and the temperature is consistently above 45F/7.2C. Then, replace them with either summer or all-season tires.

Where to Store Winter Tires

  • Once you have removed your winter tires, you’ll have to store them until next winter.
  • Keep them in a cool, dry location (ideally in a basement or garage).
  • Keeping them in the heat can be detrimental to the rubber compound.
  • Storing them in black storage bags prevents the rubber from drying or cracking.