Kathy G. Asks: Do I need snow tires,or all season tires for the winter season?

Yes it is becoming that time of year when people ask me, “Hey Joe do you think I need snow tires this winter, or will I be ok with all season tires? Well my friend Kathy G. asked me this very question however there was a twist to the story. She told me that she moved closer to the city and she felt that she might not need snow tires because of it. In the past she usually waited until the end of fall to take off her summer tires and have her snow tires mounted and balanced. I did however get more of the story as I continued to talk to her, it seems that she works as a waitress evenings, and to get to the restaurant she has to go over one of the worst hills in N.H to get there! Notice the snow tire pictured on the right has a much more aggressive tread pattern than the all season tire on the left. Which ones would you prefer?

When I get asked this question it kind of puts me on the spot because basically customers want the cheapest way out to get through winter safely. In a case like my friend Kathy here I suggest that she sticks with getting four brand new snow tires. The reason I say brand new is because I have seen situations where people have purchased used snow tires to save a buck and they have been very disappointed with the performance of the tires in the snow. You see when a snow tire has become 50% worn it is no longer a snow tire; it is basically an all season tire. The other thing that is not realized is a snow tire is not designed to be driven on dry pavement all of the time. When you do this the tires wear quickly and their effectiveness is greatly diminished in the snow. It is best if you can buy your snow tires early to get the best deal on them, then have them installed as late as possible to keep them off the dry pavement. So with that said, my advice to you Kathy is to get the best snow tires possible if you have to get you to and from work safely, or get the best all season tires you can get and stay home from your second job until it has stopped snowing and the roads have cleared.

Thank you for your question.


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