Thinking About Winter Tires?

Winter tires

By October many of our customers are stopping by to have winter tires (also called snow tires) put on their vehicles. If you’re familiar with winter tires, then you’re probably used to this seasonal task. If you’re less familiar with winter tires, you may be wondering what they are and why you’d switch to them for the winter months.

New to the Idea of swapping out Tires?

Many people have vehicles that have tires that usually suffice in the winter. Depending on where you live, the type of driving you do, and your vehicle,  your all season tires are designed to handle a wide range of uses and may suffice. But, all season tires are not the same as winter tires. All season tires are popular in the US, likely because many areas of the country can get by with them year round.

However, Minnesota is not your average, moderate climate state. We have extremely hot and humid summers, and we have erratic winters and storms. When you use an all season tire, that was designed to be a compromise of desired tire properties, you’re getting just that; a compromise. It’s comparable to buying a nice fleece jacket that works well in all seasons for MOST parts of the country. A fleece jacket isn’t going to cut it on a 30 degree below zero day in January with a 40 mile per hour north wind gust. Some vehicles that have 60 series tires or less should have four snow tires put on for better driving in winter conditions; stop in and have a conversation with us. You can’t expect a tire to optimally handle snow, slush, and ice when it wasn’t designed to do that. Winter tires are your best choice for traction and control of your vehicle. It’s not advisable that you use them year-round, however, and will need to switch back to your all season tires or previous “warmer season” tires. 

We typically recommend Nitto snow tires because of their tread design and affordable pricing. When winter tires makes sense for you and your vehicle, you have two options. You can use your regular wheels and swap tires at the beginning and end of the season, or you can have a separate set of wheels and tires that you swap out. Either way, you want to make sure you properly store your tires when they are not on your vehicle. You want them protected from corrosion, and our tire technicians can give you tips to get the most out of your tires.

Not sure what this means, stop by and we can help you decide if winter tires are right for you and your vehicle.