You’ve probably heard about these cool things called “Winter Tires”. They are super useful if you live in an area that experiences large amounts of snowfall and gets consistently chilly conditions in the colder months. Since Winter is upon us and we all still have to get to work everyday, we here at FIXD wanted to give car owners a better idea of why winter tires can be a worthwhile purchase for certain people, and when exactly you should be putting them on your vehicle.
What Even Are Winter Tires?
Winter tires are a great option if you live in an area that experiences HEAVY winter conditions. There are 2 types of winter tires; studded and non-studded. Studded tires are actually illegal in many states, so FIXD recommends sticking to non-studded tires. If you live in a SUPER snowy and icy area and think that studded winter tires would work best for you, just make sure to go online and check if your state has any restrictions against them before purchasing.
Winter tires have deep grooves and heavy siping. Sipes are the slits that are cut across the tires in order to increase traction during more extreme weather conditions. They also come with deep circumferential grooves that help push snow and slush away from the tire’s contact patch. These unique winter tire features are essential when you are out on the road, as they provide extra levels of safety for both you and your passengers!
While winter tires are great for driving on ice and snow, FIXD only recommends that you purchase them if your area experiences consistently heavy winter conditions. They are not meant to be driven during warmer seasons, which means you would need to purchase separate All-Season or Summer tires for Spring and Summer.
Check out our Guide to the Best Car Tires for our top picks for winter tires, performance tires, off-road tires, and all-season tires.
When Should I Put My Winter Tires On My Vehicle?
So you’ve gone ahead and decided that your car definitely needs a set of spiffy Winter tires. Awesome! It is important that when you buy Winter tires, you purchase them in a set of 4, as that is how you will get peak safety performance out of them. Head on over to our special blog post that lists out the best tire brand makes and models for any time of year! We will have a great recommendation for you, along with tons of helpful tire buying tips!
You’re probably wondering, “When should I actually put these suckers on?”.
Well, the answer really is that there isn’t one answer. Different areas across the world experience different bouts of extreme winter conditions at different times, so narrowing it down to a specific month can be somewhat difficult.
A good general rule of thumb is to pay attention to when your area’s conditions start consistently dipping below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter tires are designed to operate at optimal efficiency when the outside temperature is at or below this temperature, so this is around when you’d want to switch out your All-Season tires for your worthwhile winter purchase.
In terms of when to take your winter tires off, it is important to change them out once the weather starts to consistently reach above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. When used on warm surfaces, winter tires wear down quickly, so if you want to get a couple of years use out of your winter tires, it is important to change them out in a timely manner. Make sure that when you store them, you do not put any load on them, and that they are kept in an area that isn’t exposed to direct sunlight. It is also recommended that you clean your tires before you store them away. This will help you get the most out of your tires!
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.