Do I Need To Change Tires With The Weather?
At Master Auto Repair in St. Louis, MO, we run across customers who are a little puzzled about what kind of tires are best for the seasons. We’d like to hopefully clear up a little of that confusion:
Q: Do I really need winter tires?
A: It’s not a bad idea. Winters in the St. Louis, MO area can be pretty harsh, and winter tires definitely perform better in snow and ice than all-season tires.
Q: How are winter tires different from all-season or touring tires?
A: Winter tires have a deeper, more aggressive tread pattern that’s designed for traction in snow. Their tread is designed to evacuate snow and slush from the contact patch, so there’s always a clean groove as the tire rotates. They’re also designed with a softer, more pliable rubber formulation that stays flexible at low temperatures for traction. A stiff, hard tire can’t dig in on snow or slush.
Q: I have a light truck. Will all-terrain tires work well on snow?
A: Yes and no. The more aggressive tread on all-terrain tires is a great feature, but they can also stiffen at cold temperatures, hurting traction. Look for the industry’s M + S or Mountain + Snowflake branding on the tire – it denotes that a tire meets minimum standards for winter performance.
Q: What about studded tires?
A: Studded tires are legal in Missouri, from November 1 through March 31. They’re illegal in Illinois, except for mail carriers.
Q: What about all-season tires?
A: All-season tires are a compromise. They offer good road manners, good handling and low noise, with traction in rain, light snow or slush. In heavier snow, though, all-season tires aren’t going to perform well.
It’s your call! If you think it’s a good idea to go ahead and switch to winter tires this year, we’re happy to help you out. Just remember to switch back to all-season or touring tires once the temperatures warm above 40 degrees F. At warmer temperatures, the softer tread compounds of winter tires will start to wear quickly.
At Master Auto Repair, we’ve got a great selection of winter tires and all-season tires from top brands like Goodyear, Michelin, BF Goodrich and Pirelli, and we’ll be happy to get you taken care of this winter. Give us a call and make an appointment!
|Do I Need To Change Tires With The Weather? was written by Mike Najjar of Master Auto and Tire|