Are All-Weather Tires Suitable For Winter?
By TOI Staff December 7, 2022 Update on : December 7, 2022
The all-weather tires usually pass the traction test to determine whether a tire can survive extreme snow conditions. This, however, does not mean that this type of tire is favorable for winter-season driving. Most drivers like installing all weather tires in the notion that they will serve them under all types of weather, but this is only sometimes the case.
There is a reason why manufacturers recommend using winter tires during the winter season, and drivers should pay attention to this recommendation. As a driver, you should always ensure that you have mounted the right set of tires per the manufacturer’s recommendation to avoid driving inconvenience. Learn more about all-weather tires below.
1. Advantages Of All Weather Tires
The most obvious benefit of online all-weather tires is that you do not have to worry about changes between seasons, such as spring and autumn. You will only be required to perform regular tire rotations, which is part of the maintenance.
The tires help you save money that could be used on the seasonality tire change. The tires can be used all year round if you live and drive in a location that does not experience extreme winter conditions.
If your vehicle is leased, your tire solution could be all weather tires unless the leaser does not accept this type of tires.
2. What Situations Make All Weather Tires A Compromise
a. The Mountain And Snowflake Symbol Does Not Mean They Can Be Trusted For The Winter
Just like the winter tires, all weather tires are marked with mountain and snowflake symbols. This means that these tires usually pass the traction test that is usually done on snow tires. However, this symbol does not indicate that the tires can be trusted for the notorious winter conditions.
Every business is usually focused on marketing its products for higher profits; in this case, the tire manufacturers are included. Currently, the manufacturers are taking advantage of slapping the snowflake and mountain symbols on most tires because they know clients look for the symbols as a symbol of quality.
b. Ice And Snow
The all weather tires online are a compromise when the winter conditions are extreme, unlike the winter tires. Extreme winter conditions include the extreme build-up of ice blocks and snow on the roads.
The thread used in winter tires is usually designed to be aggressive to provide traction on icy and snowy roads during the winter, unlike the thread used in all-weather tires.
The rubber compound used in the all-weather tire is made of a hard compound, making the tire heat-resistant for better performance during warm seasons. The hard compound is not suitable for performance during the winter because the tire contracts due to low temperatures and eventually offers poor traction.
c. All Season Tire Designation Has Lost Meaning
Currently, some manufacturers are just reclassifying any type of tire as a winter tire because they know the demand is usually high during the winter season. This is wrong because these tires need the features to perform well in heavy snow, and icy and slush roads during winter.
When drivers buy this kind of tire, they end up disappointed because they will end up experiencing difficulties when driving and have to stop when there is functionality failure. The drivers will also have to drive more carefully than required for effective functionality, which might be tiring.
To protect drivers from such disappointments, the current standards for winter tires require that they are tested on dry snow before being sold as winter tires. These standards are helping recover the meaning of all-seasons tires in the market.
Manufacturers should sell winter tires and all weather tires as different things because they are not in any way similar in performance.
d. An All-Weather Tire Is Made Of Soft Rubber
Unlike all-season tires, which most retailers don’t understand the difference in features, the all-weather tire is made of a soft rubber compound. This means it can provide traction during winter, but it does not mean it can be used as a winter tire.
The all-weather tires online can be purchased for use at the beginning of the winter when the conditions are not extreme. As the winter season progresses, the tire may not offer the best performance in snow and ice block formation conditions on the roads. It is advisable to mount the winter tires to be on the safe side.