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Winter Tires: Are They Worth It and Do I Really Need Them?

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

What's in this Article

Do you live in a snowy part of the country? Have the temperatures plummeted in the New Year?

We all know that getting around town is difficult when there are icy roads or snow on the ground.

The Federal Highway Administration has found that snow and sleet cause 219,942 crashes every year.

Not everyone can avoid going outdoors when the winter weather is bad. Most of us still have to go to work, school and fulfill other commitments during the winter months.

This means driving.

The best thing you can do as a driver is to prepare. A lot of drivers wonder whether winter tires are worth the investment.

Winter tires vs all seasons tires is an age-old battle. Safety vs cost. What do you need to stay safe this winter?

The Benefits of Winter Tires

Do winter tires work? The short answer to this question is yes. They make it easier to drive safely on snowy and icy roads when it’s freezing outside.

There are a few factors to consider. Do you live in a part of the country that experiences snow? What about ice?

If you often experience temperatures under 45 degrees, it’s time to get some winter tires.

Better Grip and Traction

A lot of people think buying a four-wheel-drive vehicle can help in the snow. They might help you accelerate and deal with rough terrain but they don’t help when it comes to braking.

Stopping power comes down to your tires. When you’ve got winter tires on your vehicle, braking is going to be a lot easier in bad weather. They’re designed to reduce your stopping distance in bad conditions.

Winter tires have specific tread patterns that can grip on ice and snow. The rubber compounds are more durable and enhance your grip in cold weather. They’re designed for freezing temperatures.

For example, large grooves move away water and prevent hydroplaning. Narrow grooves move water and grab snow for a better grip.

A lot of people don’t enjoy driving in dark and wintry conditions. It doesn’t make driving fun. Instead, it can mean being more vigilant and driving at slower speeds.

Around three out of four drivers don’t like driving in winter conditions. But winter tires can help you enjoy peace of mind.

When you know that you’ve got better tires on your car, you can feel more confident. You can know that you have the ability to break and not skid in snowy, icy or cold temperatures.

The risk of losing traction is lower.

Winter vs All Season Tires

All-season tires will provide some traction during a mild winter. But it’s not going to be anywhere near as good as winter tires.

The rubber compounds in all seasons tires are not designed to work at below 50 degrees. While they perform better than summer tires, they won’t be as good as winter tires.

If your all-season tires have been on your vehicle almost all year, they’re worn down. Worn down tires increase your risk of crashing.

At the end of the day, the clue is in the name; all-season tires. They’re designed to work well in every season. They compromise some of the benefits of each season to suit another.

They’re not going to offer you everything winter tires do.

When it comes to winter tires vs summer tires, there’s no competition. For dealing with snow, water, and ice you can’t beat the treat patterns of winter tires.

Summer tires shine in dry, hot, conditions. They’re suitable only for summer; they’re not safe for winter conditions.

You may be wondering where you put your winter tires when they’re not in use.

Garage storage always works. If you don’t have space, there are auto shops that offer storage facilities. They’ll also fit them for you when the time comes.

Are Winter Tires Expensive?

One of the main reasons that drivers don’t want to get winter tires is because of the cost. It can depend on the vehicle you own and the type of winter tires you choose. You can pay up to $1,000 for winter tires.

A lot of people think they can cut the cost of winter tires by only buying two instead of four. But this doesn’t work and can risk skidding in icy or snowy conditions.

You want your handling to be consistent on bad roads.

It’s best to go with big-name, respected brands for peace of mind. We’re talking about brands like Continental, Pirelli, Michelin, and Goodyear.

Make sure you do your research and look for three mount peaks on the tire. This is an icon that means they’re tested for winter. You can also read reviews on other brands if you want to check out winter tire specialists.

Is It Worth It?

There’s no doubt winter tires benefit your vehicle during the winter months of the year.

What if the cost isn’t worth it for your vehicle? For the sake of your safety, it’s time to change.

Selling a junk car, or even an older model may be your best bet. Especially if it’s already past due.

There’s no point in putting new winter tires on a car you’re about to sell.

We offer you a fantastic price when you sell junk car vehicles. You can use this cash for a new car and a new set of winter tires.

Be prepared. The last thing you want is for your junk car to break down in the middle of winter.

Get an offer today and be one step closer to a safe ride!

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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