All-Season, All-Weather, Studded, Studless: How To Understand Tire Terms And Choose The Perfect Winter Set

Winter driving can be scary if your car is still outfitted with summer tires. If driving through snow make your knuckles go white on the steering wheel, investing in a few winter tires might help reduce your driving anxiety. Here are a few tips to consider when shopping for good cold-weather tires for your vehicle.

Ideal Tires For Year-Round Use

If you hope to avoid spending money on both a summer set and a winder set of tires for your car, you'll need to look for one group that can withstand both hot summer conditions and winter snows. As you peruse through different brands, make sure to hunt for all-weather tires and not all-season ones. Though both types of tire purport to be able to handle anything, all-season tires are more suited to cold rains than to snowy and icy conditions. All-weather tires are more rare and costly, but they also deliver more grip and general control in snowy conditions.

While all-weather tires are certainly better than just summer ones, they're still only recommended for drivers in climates with mild winters. If you have to drive through frequent or heavy snow during the winter, the best way to protect your safety is to invest in snow tires. The upfront cost may be higher, but it lowers the risk of hydroplaning and getting hurt due to lack of traction.

Studded vs. Studless Snow Tires

Studded snow tires offer the utmost in grip control and general traction, since they come with metal studs that dig into the ice and asphalt. To avoid damaging these tires, you have to drive slowly and carefully, avoiding any sudden steering changes. Even if you're careful and your car is lightweight, the studs may still damage asphalt and concrete, so they're really ideal for use in rural areas without paved roads and drives. Studded is also the most expensive variety of snow tires, since the retailer has to manually install the studs upon purchase.

Studless tires, on the other hand, are ideal for urban driving with plenty of pavement. Their flexible rubber construction allows them to grip the ground without damaging it, and their lower price makes them appealing to budget-conscious customers. The one drawback for studless snow tires is how loud they are when driving on cleared roads.

Buying new tires for your car may leave your wallet hurting, but it saves you money and trouble in the long run by preventing winter accidents. If you're ready to relax again while you drive, a good set of winter tires might be what does the trick.

For more information, contact Collier Goodyear Car Care Center or a similar location.