Are Winter Tires Really Worth It?

January 14th, 2017

Winters in Pennsylvania can be pretty rough, with snow, ice and lengthy spells of sub-freezing weather that can keep that stuff on the ground for a long time. Winter Tires in Abbottstown PA Sometimes, winter tires can be the only thing that can get you where you need to go.

But what is it that makes winter tires so special?

Most drivers opt for all-season tires, and for good reason. All-season tires offer a quiet, smooth ride, predictable handling and good traction on wet or dry pavement. Thing is, though, all-season tires just do not perform well when there’s more than an inch or two of snow on the ground…and if there’s ice on the roads, you’d just be better off staying at home.

Winter tires, on the other hand, are a long way from the heavy, clunky “snow tires” of a generation ago. Today’s winter tires rival the best all-season tires when it comes to road manners, handling, ride quality and noise level. They far exceed all-season tires, however, when you’re talking about winter traction.

· Winter tires are designed with deeper tread grooves that are self-cleaning, ejecting snow and slush so there’s always a clean section of tread to dig into snow.

· Winter tires feature a dense network of sipes, thousands of hair-thin slits that offer more biting edges and more surface area to dig into snow and claw your way through it.

· Winter tires use a softer tread compound that stays flexible at sub-freezing temperatures for a more uniform footprint and better traction.

· Some winter tires come pre-drilled so a technician can easily install metal studs. Studs are for extreme conditions and ice and are hard on paved surfaces. Check state laws for restrictions before using them.

There’s one word of caution about winter tires, however. Be sure that you change back to all-season tires when temperatures are above 40 degrees or so. Their softer tread compound will start to wear quickly in warmer weather.

Are you ready for a set of winter tires to get you through this winter? Make an appointment with us at L & M Tire & Wheel – we’ve got a great selection of top-brand winter tires, at a price you’ll love!  

  Posted in: Tires 101