Despite the unseasonably warm weather and lack snow we’ve had in the Champlain Valley thus far this winter, it’s still time to decide whether you’re going to keep your all season tires on your car or put on some winter tires. Here at Heritage, we’re often asked why someone should switch over their tires and if they really need to switch to winter tires.
First, winter tires were built for handling snow, much like many Vermonters. The treads of a winter tire are designed to push snow out on every rotation; therefore you always have clean treads to grip the snowy roads. The softer rubber used in these treads is designed to move and allow snow to filter through instead of trapping it. All season tires are made of a harder rubber and are great for gripping a dry, paved road, but once there is snow on the ground it fills the treads creating an extremely slick tire surface. Unlike winter tires, the snow isn’t pushed out of the treads and is packed down on every tire rotation until the treads can’t fill with any more snow.
Does this mean that everyone who may drive on snow should invest in winter tires? Not necessarily; the decision should also factor in your location. If you live in Chittenden County on a paved road, you can get away with all season tires much easier than someone who lives in Waitsfield or Jericho and relies on unpaved back roads.
The biggest resistance we receive when talking to customers about snow tires is regarding the price. Consider this, when you buy an additional set of tires that will be used for 6 months out of the year, your all season tires are also not being used for 6 months, it essentially doubles the life of both sets of tires. We hope you make the best decision for you, your wallet, and your car. If you have any questions regarding winter tire safety, please stop by or give us a call; we’re more than happy to help.