All Weather Tires – The Tip of the Iceberg
All weather tires are making a splash for drivers in the colder parts of the country, and a case to replace snow tires outright – learn what you need to know before putting them on your vehicle.
What’s the difference between all season and all weather tires?
While the names are similar, all season tires can almost be differentiated literally – they should be able to get you through the mildest conditions you might face in all seasons. Whether it’s baking hot asphalt in the summer, spring rain, the early-morning coolness of fall or light snow in winter, a good set of all season tires should be able to handle it.
However, if you’re in a part of the country that gets a lot of snow (especially all at once) you’re at the very least going to need to use tire chains on top of your all season tires. Local laws may vary on where tire chains and studded tires are allowed.
Here’s where all weather tires come in.
The tread block on all weather tires are set apart by being to be able to cope with snow while lessening the need for snow chains or for owning a separate set of snow tires.
With crisscross and zigzag tread patterning designed specifically to get a grip on snow and ice, they also usually retain a deep, straight tread channel in the middle that expels water and slush out from the tire to prevent hydroplaning.
All weather tires vs. all season tires:
- Performance – all season tires usually have shorter stopping distances in dry weather and may ride or handle better. All weather tires are usually superior on wet roads, and will have a clear edge in ice, slush and snow at a compromise of some ride comfort, tire noise and handling sharpness.
- Convenience – Here’s where all weather tires take the cake. Because you can leave them on between seasons, you often don’t need to change to full-on snow tires or purchase separate steel wheels for winter driving.
And because all weather tires can go on your stock wheels like any other tire, your factory TPMS system can be used when changing to all weather tires – giving you an extra safety buffer when the first cold front rolls in, while saving you considerable money on new tires, wheels and TPMS systems.
While we don’t have a dedicated section for all weather tires (yet), the specific all weather tire models we carry include the BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport, BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport LT and Nokian WR G3, which include specific SUV variants.
Are all weather tires as good as winter tires?
All weather tires offer comparable, if somewhat diminished winter tire performance both in stopping distances and acceleration grip in snow – but with none of the inconvenience of winter tire changeovers or any extra purchases of specific winter tires and wheels.
At the end of the day, the best winter tire for you could have a lot of factors. The kind of vehicle you drive, the severity and predictability of snow in your region, your budget and even your schedule are all valid considerations.
However, at this point it seems hard to go wrong with all weather tires if you’re looking for an upgrade over how your average or original equipment all-season tires handle snow.
Whichever you're leaning toward, give us a call or stop in at your nearest Discount Tire location where our experts can help you pick the best tire for your needs.