If you’ve ever lived through a Chicago winter and took to the roads, you know that the ice, snow, and cold can do a number on your car’s tires.
That’s why many drivers ask themselves, “Do I need winter tires if I have all season tires on my car?” It’s possible. To understand what tires you’ll need, you must first understand the differences in winter tires vs. all season tires. Your needs will depend on the weather and road conditions you encounter throughout the year.
Here are some of your options, and what Milito’s Auto Repair suggests you should consider when choosing a tire.
Many vehicles are fitted with all season tires when they leave the factory. All season tires are designed to offer a combination of benefits from summer and winter tires, and deliver great wear life, a comfortable ride, and can handle well in multiple road conditions.
All-Season tires are for drivers looking for:
● Traction on wet, dry and snow covered roads
● Tires engineered for year-round performance
● Quiet, smooth ride and confident handling
Winter and Snow Tires
While all-wheel drive can make you feel invincible, the fact of the matter is that an all-season tire will never beat out a winter tire in stopping and turning during slippery conditions. From heavy snowfall to black ice, winter roads in Chicago are unpredictable and tires can make all the difference. Winter tires will have an optimized tread pattern for low-traction situations. They also must have a sufficient tread depth to clear through slush or snow.
Winter tires are unique because of the:
Tread Rubber – In extreme cold temperatures, the tread rubber of an all season or summer tire stiffens and becomes less able to provide sufficient traction. To combat this, tread rubber is designed at a molecular level to stay soft, malleable, and grippy as temperatures drop.
The Tread Depth and Patterns – Winter tires have deeper tread depths, which reduce snow buildup and provide better traction on the snow. They also have tire tread patterns designed to channel snow and slush and expel water.
Biting Edges – Winter tires also have an increased number of biting edges and high sipe densities — thousands of tiny slits in the tread that provide traction on ice.
All Season Tires vs. Winter Tires — Which Is Best?
At the end of the day, it will come down to where you live and the conditions in which you drive. If deep snowfall and icy roads are more an isolated incident and not an annual ordeal, you can probably get away with keeping on all season tires. But if you know there’s a period when icy roads are always an issue, using winter tires becomes an essential safety measure that could potentially save your life.
You also might also have heard that you only need two winter tires — just a set for the car’s driving wheels. Milito’s Auto Repair recommends that you always install a full set, even if it’s a little bit more expensive.
If you only change out the front tires, it increases the likelihood that the rear tires will skid. On the other hand, only putting snow tires on the rear wheels could cause the front tires to lose traction and make it impossible to steer your vehicle.
One last tip: While winter tires are superior in extreme winter conditions, they’ll wear down faster on warm, dry pavement, so be sure to put on your all season tires in the spring.
Get Your Tires Ready For Winter at Milito’s Auto Repair
Whether you’re ready for a set of winter tires or you’re putting your all season tires back on, you can depend on the professionalism and expertise of the crew at Milito’s Auto Repair for all your tire needs. Contact us today!