The disadvantages of winter tires are the fact that they are made only for the winter season and as such their use is limited to winter alone. If using studded tires their dates when they can be used becomes even more limited and in some States their use is even forbidden. In addition, it is complicated to know when to change into winter tires as well as out of them as winter does not come on a certain date and varies quite a bit from State to State. In general, it is recommended to switch out of winter tires (studded or non-studded) when temperatures stay consistently above 45 degrees Fahrenheit and the same hold through for changing into winter tires in the fall once the temperature stays consistently below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
The reason for changing out of winter tires when the temperature rises and stays consistently above 45 degrees Fahrenheit is because with the specific rubber compound in winter tires which are made to stay flexible in cold weather (below 45 degrees Fahrenheit) they don’t fare well in temperatures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because they start to run hotter and hotter and eventually start to chemically degrade. This chemical degradation can actually cause the outside of the tire to become somewhat greasy and even decrease the gripping of the road, making it difficult to brake and increasing stopping distance. The rubber on all-season tires or all-weather tires on the other hand are made to withstand heat. All-season tires as well as all-weather tires both have special rubber compounds that stays flexible yet firm to handle warmer temperatures so not to wear down as fast while providing proper traction in a variety of driving conditions throughout the year.
If living in an area with severe winter weather your choice would be to either switch to all-season tires after the winter season or to maintain on set of tires throughout the year which would be possible with all-weather tires as they are approved for winter use. This is because the all-weather tires hold the “Three Peak Mountain Snowflake” emblem signifying their approved use in severe winter conditions. This is the same emblem held by dedicated winter tires. Did you know that in severe winter conditions even when owning an SUV, tires with this “Three Peak Mountain Snowflake” emblem are recommended? This is because an SUV does not automatically handle better in winter conditions. In fact, the only benefit of an SUV is that the 4-wheel drive allows for better traction.
It is also important to keep in mind the manufacturer’s recommended tire dimensions when buying a new set of tires. This means that if you are switching out of a 225/65R17 winter tires then you should change into 225/65R17 all-season tires.
If the weather where you live is too unpredictable and there is often a chance of temporary warming followed by true winter weather, you might want to consider equipping your car with all-weather tires eliminating the need entirely for winter tires.
For more information regarding all-weather tires, visit: nokiantires.com