Do I Need to Use Snow Tires?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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Snow tires, also known as "winter tires" and "ice tires," are tires that have been designed and manufactured specifically to perform well under winter conditions. They are different from other tires in both their tread and the kind of rubber that they are made of. The rubber that is used to create these tires is softer than tires that are used in summer conditions. The softer rubber grips ice and snow better than other tires. The softness of these tires is not idea for summer months, however. In moderate to high temperatures, snow tires will quickly wear out.

The tread on snow tires is also much different than the tread on other types of tires. First of all, they have more grooves than most others. Like the soft rubber, these grooves also help the tires to grip snowy and icy roads.

There are some winter tires that are designed with sockets in which metal studs can be installed. Metal studs can provide extra traction and grip on wintry roads. Before considering using tires with metal studs, be sure that they are legal within your travel zone. Many places regulate the use of these products.


If you live or plan on relocating to a place that experiences extended or dramatic winter weather, you may find yourself in need of snow tires. Furthermore, you may be required to have snow tires during some months. In order to reduce the number of weather-related accidents, certain locales insist that residents drive on snow tires during certain times of the year.

Keeping your vehicle or vehicles in good tires can be an expensive aspect of being a car owner. It is important, however, to have the best and most appropriate kind of tires on your vehicle or vehicles at all times. Tires are the connection between your car and the road. The better and more agreeable this connection, the safer you will be during your travels.

In order to find the best prices on quality snow tires, be sure to shop around at all of the car parts businesses in your area. Also, keep an eye out for seasonal deals. You may just get a great pair of snow tires in July!


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Discuss this Article

Post 4

@ Chicada- The only reason I bought snow tires and wheels together is to save my rims from damage. Snow, sand, and ice is abrasive, causing the coating on rims to be worn off, and corrosion of certain metals. It’s also not good to run snow tires on dry pavement because the tread pattern can wear out CV and Ball joints quicker. It’s just easier to swap tires that are already balanced on wheels instead of rebalancing my wheels every time I put the snow tires on.

Post 3

@ Amphibious54- Why did you purchase steel wheels with your snow tires? Do you need to purchase snow tires and rims specially designed for snow tires?

Post 2

@ GenevaMech- Hakkapelitas are expensive, but they are the best snow tires. I found that Cooper weathermasters are almost as good in the snow and on ice. These are what I bought when I purchased my SUV snow tires. They handle great, and they last a while. I purchased them with steel rims and just store them in my garage in the spring.

Post 1

I used to live in Vermont. Vermont is definitely a place you would want to consider using snow tires. Being a broke college kid, I have definitely made it through winters without snow tires, but I had all wheel drive to compensate. There were a few days every year when I could not drive anywhere. I also always had to be conscious that the car would handle different.

If you are unsure about your winter driving skills or simply moving to a winter climate for the first time, I would recommend getting snow tires. If you can afford them, Hakkapelitas are the way to go. Nokian tires manufactures and engineers them in Sweden. I had a set of those on my old school Audi for two seasons, and I could go anywhere and never had to worry about getting stuck.

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