Is a Winter Tire & Wheel Package Right for You?

Now that the calendar says “October,” start thinking “winter.” Because before we know it, roofs will be covered with snow, ice rinks will be packed with skaters and roads will strike fear into drivers with dangerous commutes. Well, that is, unless you have the right tires. And the right tires are a set of winter / snow tires. Even better, winter/snow tires installed on a set of winter wheels.

A Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package is a smart, convenient and cost-effective way to ensure you can handle anything Mother Nature throws your way. Freezing conditions? Winter tires are designed with special materials to stay soft and provide maximum traction in temperatures below 45 degrees. Icy roads? Several inches of snow? Winter tires have tread block patterns designed to grip in these conditions better than any all-season tire.

We hear it all the time: “Aren’t all-season tires enough for winter driving?” Yes, in parts of the country all-season tires are all you need. However, if you live in an area that experiences months of snow, ice and harsh conditions, a set of winter tires is the way to go. All-season tires are designed to blend dry, wet and wintertime traction, however they are not required to meet the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol standard identifying tires that provide a higher level of snow traction. Some all-seasons even focus on three-season performance (spring, summer and fall), at the expense of wintertime traction. Not something you want when the road is covered in ice and the car in front of you is sliding.

“Don’t winter tires cost too much?” This myth is laid to rest by reading “Alternating Winter & Summertime Tires.” During a typical vehicle's ownership cycle or lease period, drivers will purchase at least one set of replacement tires. Since the cost of winter tires is generally equivalent, if not less than replacement tires for the vehicle, this means that equipping the vehicle with winter tires will enhance tire traction when driving conditions are at their worst without increasing the driver's overall operating costs.

Have a few more questions before you make a final decision? Take a look at “Winter Tire FAQs” for more on the topic. Then start your search for your Winter / Snow Tire &Wheel Package.

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