Being an authorized Tire Rack dealer, we felt the video above would be a good introduction to an age old debate. It is hard to measure how many customers ask about All Season versus Winter tires so hopefully this resource is somewhat helpful if you happen to be curious. First of all, rest easy that you (and your peers) have asked a great question and should have a better understanding of our recommendations when finished reading this blog entry.
Let’s begin with some absolutes so as to eliminate any confusion here. Ice is ice every day that ends in Y. Ice was not meant to be navigated easily and effectively, unless of course you’re in an area that permits and/or encourages studded tires or chains. Last I checked there weren’t any vehicles in West Michigan with either of these. We’ll leave that to our northern most counterparts. Bottom line, NO winter tire will allow you to stop on a dime. Not one. If somebody has told you differently they are either buying stock in winter tire R&D (in hopes it will eventually be available), or they were misinformed as well.
The other misnomer that we want to lay to rest is that it is OK to drive year round with winter tires. Not sure why one would want to do this exactly but this statement could be true in part, depending on other variables. You may get by driving on winter tires in warmer weather but I can assure you they won’t last as long, nor will they wear evenly. In short, the only exception to this may be areas where the climate stays at or below freezing temperature the entire year. So while in some instances it may be permissible, in the majority of the lower 48 this would be an absolute waste of money.
Our recommendation is to own one set of winter tires and another for the warmer weather. If you’re able, we also recommend an extra set of wheels so the exchange is more efficient at the end of each season, as well as there being less wear and tear than if you only had one set of wheels year round. The cost of winter tires in most cases (albeit there are exceptions when you take into account the most expensive options) will wash itself out given that your warmer weather tires will last significantly longer. In most areas of the US your winter tires will only be used for 4 months of the year so you can count on them lasting several years.
Remember, the most expensive option isn’t always the answer. We welcome you to contact us with any questions you may have so that we can help equip you with the right tires for your specific vehicle and driving conditions. Also, for those of you already familiar with Tire Rack, you can order your tires online and have them shipped directly to our shop so the install is more convenient. Don’t forget, we also offer a service to store your warm weather tires here until you need them again, which makes it a turn-key operation for you.