What are the best tires for Michigan?

By: Discount Tire

Common vehicles: SUVs, muscle cars, pickup trucks

Major regions: Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Saginaw, Up North, Upper Peninsula

Road conditions: Heavy snow, ice, slush, rain, construction

Discount Tire locations: 55 (and counting!)

Michigan is a state near and dear to us here at Discount Tire. It’s where we got our start, all the way back in 1960!

And there’s as much to like about the Wolverine State now as there was then. Think of something exciting rolling off the assembly line or coming out of Detroit’s vibrant music scene, the sheer amount of incredible pierogi places, or the abundant ponds, lakes, and rivers. The only thing more “pure Michigan” than driving through the tunnel of trees up the M-119 to Mackinac Bridge is doing so on fresh rubber from Discount Tire.

As the saying goes, there are two seasons in Michigan: winter and construction. These can vary in severity depending on where you live in the Great Lakes State, but you can pretty much set your watch by either.

But what if we told you these situations offer some important things to look for in how you shop for tires as a Michigander?

Best car tires for Michigan

Factor in the above on a scale of importance and then prioritize other features that you’re after in your next set of tires in for Michigan driving.

Need a comfortable ride because of all the potholes in your area? Look for a good all-season or touring tire.

Want the safest possible ride with the most reliable grip and braking power when there’s ice and snow? A set of dedicated winter tires are going to be your best option.

Do a lot of freeway driving? Highway, summer or all-season tires will give you grip in the summer or rain, but won’t be much good come wintertime.

Don’t have the extra cash for winter tires and wheels? All-weather tires might be able to get you by in the winter and summer.

Regardless of what you drive (or whether it was produced locally) one of our Michigan locations will be able to get you outfitted with the perfect tire for your car.

Best truck tires for Michigan

If you drive a truck or SUV your options might be a little more (or less) complex.

A lot of Michiganders opt for a more traditional all-terrain or LT (Light Truck) highway tire option that’s 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake-certified or M+S-designated (both meaning the tire in question exceeds the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association’s requirements for severe snow traction).

Not only will these tires be great for your adventures off-road, but they should prove to be capable enough in snow and ice when combined with your truck’s 4-wheel drive.

When to put on snow tires in Michigan

No matter what you drive or where in Michigan you live No matter where you live or drive in Michigan, you can have the best of both worlds if you have the space and time.

By equipping winter tires on a set of steel wheels you should both be able to drive safely on any snowy road or highway. For all the Yoopers and those who live Up North year-round, you’re probably already too familiar with running winter tires (and even studded winter tires).

But winter tires can truly be a difference-maker even if you live in a part of the state that has its roads regularly salted or plowed.

And if there’s one thing that’s true of buying tires in parts of the country that get snow, it’s that the most expensive all-season is no match for even the worst dedicated snow tire when it’s white out.

In fact, if you look at it from the standpoint of saving time and money on repairs should you get in an accident, switching between winter and summer, all-season or touring tires is probably the biggest no-brainer of all when it comes to shopping for tires in any region of The Mitten.

For those of you who also want to protect your stock or custom wheels from damage from road salt or road treatment chemicals in the winter, this is probably the best option of all. There are also plenty of staggered snow tire sizes as well, meaning you won’t have to garage your muscle car all winter if you don’t want to.

Dedicated winter tires can also dramatically augment the capabilities of your all-wheel-drive vehicle in slush, ice, snow, or even in temperatures below 45-degrees when many other tires begin to lose traction in a noticeable way.

Finally, if you live in Michigan and are wondering when to put snow tires on your vehicle, the answer is the first week that temperatures are projected to dip below 45-degrees during your commute or there’s a chance of overnight snow that’ll stick, melt and then freeze.

Just remember that the tire manufacturers produce a finite amount of snow tires every year, so we recommend trying to beat the rush before the cold weather sets in.

In the meantime, one of our 50-plus stores in our home state of Michigan can help you figure out the best tires for your needs!