The reason why winter tires should not be used in other seasons it actually the same reason winter tires are so good in the winter. Winter tires are made of a softer rubber compound that is more flexible in order to withstand colder temperatures. Winter tires also have a deeper tread pattern with a more specialized tread to handle snow and ice. Winter tires are the ultimate choice for severe winter conditions and give the ultimate performance on both snow and ice.
Obviously if you have studded tires you wouldn’t think to use them in any other seasons, and in many areas of the United States it would even be illegal. However, even non-studded tires are not recommended for other seasons, since their softer rubber compounds and more aggressive tread patterns are not meant for warmer temperatures and do not handle well on dry pavement, wearing down faster and irregularly. The ideal thing to do would be to change to winter tires for the winter season – or if you are against changing tires, then equip your car with all-weather tires.
All-weather tires actually hold the same Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake certification as winter tires and can be considered a cross between winter and all-season tires. Unlike winter tires, all-weather tires can be used in all seasons of the year, thereby eliminating the need to change tires twice each year. When you buy winter tires, you will be able to handle the toughest of winter conditions – and if you live in an area with severe winters you will not be disappointed in their performance. Even though winter tires are not able to be used during the rest of the year, for many drivers they justify any inconvenience that having to change tires will entail.
The softer rubber compounds winter tires are made of cause the tread to change shape more in warmer months. This results in more rolling resistance that causes your vehicle to use more gasoline. This is not good for the environment or your pocketbook. Their lifespan will also be reduced if you use them on hot summer roads as opposed to using them in their designed winter conditions.
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