Updated: Nov 16, 2019
You might be asking yourself, "Do I really need Winter Tires?" Well, there's only one simple answer to that... What's your life worth? Are you looking to just be able to get through the Snow this Winter? Or do you want Control and Traction during that inevitable skid out or loss of control going 50MPH down the road? All Season Tires just don't have that extra grip you're looking for during the winter when temperatures drop below 40 degrees, The rubber in All Season Tires stays hard, it doesn't flex and conform to the road like it needs to when it's super cold outside. Do you ever wonder why you notice that some tires are completely covered in snow and ice, while other Tires don't have any at all? This is because the sipes on the Tire (The smaller horizontal cuts and grooves on a tire) get packed with snow/ice and are not able to release it. Tire "sipes" are designed to capture water, snow, rocks or any other matter that is between the Tire and the Road. These horizontal sipes then pump the material out into the larger lateral sipes and are expelled back onto the road. So when the Tire gets cold these sipes are so stiff they are not able to function anywhere near the capacity they were designed to when used in extreme cold thus causing unreliable and unpredictable traction.
Winter Tires, however, are made to withstand extreme temperature drops and remain soft and flexible in Arctic conditions. They provide accurate and reliable traction in the most demanding of winter conditions by always being able to conform to the road and pump out Ice, Snow, Slush and Water through its sipes and out of the wheel to the road contact area.
All-Season tires may get you through the winter just fine if you are an Experienced Driver, drive careful, keep your distance and make sure your tires have enough tread depth. But if you're looking for Safety during unpredictable road conditions, protection against black ice and ultimate traction during sudden stops or evasive manuvering seriously consider putting your All Season Tires on the shelf for the Winter and purchase a dedicated set of Winter Tires.
Here are my top 3 picks for Winter Tires:
(Experience: Have owned Nokian and Bridgestone)
Tips for Tires in the Winter:
1.) Keep the Tires with the most tread on the rear of the vehicle. ( Most accidents in winter happen because the rear end of the vehicle skids out, not because you can't stop or because there is not enough tread in the front to keep you in a relative direction)
2.) Install Winter Tires when Temps are consistently 45 degrees or below and remove them as soon as Temps are above 45 degrees. (Winter Tires will get destroyed extremely fast if they are subjected to much heat and friction)
3.) Make sure your tires are not over-inflated. ( Overinflated tires will make the tire stiffer and less able to grip the road.
If you have any questions or are need of Winter Tires, feel free to give us a call anytime!
Sorenson Automotive, Inc
12509 Nevada Ave South
Savage Mn 55378