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Winter Is Coming. Are Snow Tires or All-Season Tires Better for Your Vehicle?

Car drives with snow tires on an icy road in winter

With the changing seasons comes the looming prospect of a cold, icy, and snowy few months ahead. For drivers on DMV roads, that means an increased risk for vehicles sliding, tires spinning, and families getting stranded in deepening snow. How can you protect yourself? Consider the benefits of swapping out your all-season tires for specialty snow tires.

Many cars and trucks are fitted with all-season tires when they roll off the lot at the dealership. All-season tires are great for many reasons. As the name suggests, all-season tires perform well year-round. They provide a reasonably quiet ride, good tread life, and stability across average road conditions. Whether wet roads, long hauls, or even light winter driving, all-season tires are a great choice for your vehicle.

But if you live in a region that sees a few inches of snow fall a year, like we do here in the D.C. area, then you might benefit from swapping out your all-season tires for snow tires during the winter months. Snow tires are uniquely engineered to outperform all-season tires in snowy and icy conditions, even when driving through slush and mud. What makes snow tires different?

The Value of Snow Tires

Snow tires boast a number of technical features that make them superior to all-season tires in snow, freezing rain, and ice. The rubber compounds are manufactured to remain flexible even in the harshest conditions. Some even embed traction particles to help the tires grip a slippery road. Most have deeper tread designs with greater surface area across saw-tooth sipes (cuts in the tread) to reduce snow buildup and facilitate traction. 

The result? Snow tires can accelerate faster, handle better, turn more easily, and stop with more confidence, even when there are piles of snow on the road. With more wicking power for water and ice, snow tires can make the difference between skidding into an accident and arriving safely at your destination.

Of course, buying a set of performance tires will likely cost you a few hundred dollars. Auto mechanics and repair shops will also likely charge you a small amount to swap the tires in late fall and early spring. When you’re not using them, you’ll also need a safe place to store four extra tires, so having a garage would be helpful. However, the benefits of having snow tires on your vehicle in the winter months might make the extra cost and hassle worth it.

If you’re considering replacing your all-season tires for snow tires this winter, stop into Metro Motor today. We’ll review your vehicle and winter driving plans, then recommend the best tires for you – ensuring you drive with confidence throughout the coming months. Don’t wait! As temperatures plunge, the first snow could be just around the corner.

Vehicle care information made available by Metro Motor is presented as helpful advice for general maintenance and should not be construed as instructions for at-home vehicle service. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual and a licensed, professional mechanic for diagnostics and repair.

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