Are Snow Tires Worth It?
For many folks across the U.S., you can count on plenty of snowy days when winter comes around. When driving in freezing conditions, we all know that maintaining traction on the road is critical for safety. If you are thinking about ordering snow tires for your vehicle, there are a few questions to ask yourself first. Are snow tires worth it? And, are they the best option for you? Here’s what you need to know before you make a purchase.
Beyond the possibility of adding snow tires to your vehicle, another nice step you can take for winter comfort and convenience is adding a carport to your property. By using covered parking throughout the winter, you’ll enjoy plenty of benefits. Keeping snow off your vehicle is only the beginning! You can also look forward to other perks, including reducing your chances of the dreaded dead winter car battery. Check out the possibilities with our Build & Price tool, and contact us directly if you have any questions along the way!
Snow Tires vs All-Season Tires
When it comes to choosing between snow tires or all-season tires, snow tires will almost always outperform all-season tires under snowy and icy conditions. Snow tires work by giving you better traction, more stability, and better stopping power. All-season tires really can’t come close when it comes to what snow tires are capable of on frosty roads.
While it’s common knowledge that snow tires are made for winter conditions, you might not be aware that these kinds of tires actually help your vehicle’s performance even when it’s not snowing.
There are a couple of notable ways in which snow tires are different from standard, all-season tires. First is the tread pattern. Where the tread layout on standard tires might get clogged up by snow and ice on the roads, a snow tire is engineered to get that snow buildup out of the treads as fast as possible. This means that the treads stay exposed to the road, rather than getting clogged as soon as you start driving, and you maintain a better grip on the road as a result.
Another factor that is regularly overlooked, but just as important, is the tread compound used to create snow tires. The rubber of a standard all-season tire is going to get quite hard in the cold weather, and the surface of the tire can be slick and rigid as a result. That does not lead to good grip in winter conditions. Dedicated winter tires will feature a softer compound, so cold temperatures don’t present those same issues. This wouldn’t work particularly well in warm weather, but that’s why they are designated for cold climates – the soft compound is a great option in such a setting.
Managing Snow Tires
As mentioned above, some of the characteristics of snow tires are not suitable for warmer conditions. For this reason, most people who own a set of snow tires take them on and off their vehicle depending on the season. They use all-season tires throughout the warmer parts of the year and snow tires when the temperatures start to drop. Yes, this means owning two sets of tires, but you get far better performance throughout the year as a result.
Just like with any other set of tires, you want to keep them inflated to an appropriate level based on the recommendations for the tire and your vehicle. You’ll also need to think in advance about your storage solution for this set of tires when they aren’t on your vehicle, so be sure you have a garage or other space available where four tires can live for half of the year.
The Financial Picture
It would be easy enough to think that having snow tires is going to be more expensive than just going with all-season tires, since you have to own two sets rather than one. But each of those sets is only working for half the year – so they will wear down half as quickly as they would if on your vehicle for all twelve months. In the end, if your tires are managed properly and kept at a suitable pressure level, you should wind up spending the same amount of money in the long run, and you’ll get much better traction in varied driving conditions.
Stay Covered this Winter with American Carports
Adding a set of snow tires is a great way to care for your vehicle and to keep you safe on the road during the cold winter months. While you are thinking about what you can do for your vehicle this winter, also consider the addition of a parking structure from American Carports, Inc. With a quality set of winter tires and a protected place to park when not on the road, you’ll be ready for whatever the season has in store. Check out the possibilities with our Build & Price tool, and contact us directly if you have any questions along the way!