Do you live in an area that experiences real winters?
Where slush, snow, and ice are common?
If you do, please consider getting yourself a set of winter tires.
I know some of you out there are probably scratching your heads and wondering, why bother?
You have all season tires.
While it's true that a set of quality all seasons can be okay, there's still not gonna be anywhere near as effective as winter rubber when the going gets cold and slick.
And to find out why that's the case, we've come to visit the tire rack in South Bend, Indiana.
To understand why all seasons aren't as good as winters we have to dig into the construction of the tires themselves.
Contrary to popular belief, all tires are not created equal, simply being round and black, rubber compounds and trend designs all play a major role in the tires performance.
With an all season tire the rubber and tread pattern are developed to operate in a wide variety of conditions such as cold, hot, dry, wet, and light snow.
So it'll be serviceable in most driving situations, but it's not going to be a master of any single discipline.
When your tires on the other hand, like high performance summer tires are designed in a more focused manner.
Rubber compounds are softer and developed to remain pliable in colder temperatures.
While in all season will firm up when the mercury drops The design of the tread features taller blocks to better cut through accumulation and slush and more spikes are molded into the tread blocks themselves providing more biting edges thus more grip.
Of course I don't expect you to take my word on all of this because...
Because seeing is believing.
And that's why the Tire Rack has brought us to the content Ice Arena on the campus of Notre Dame to demonstrate the differences and acceleration, breaking and turning between an OEM Firestone destination all season and Bridgestone Blazek DMV to winter while the performance differences between the winners and all seasons aren't drastic with follow Dr. And traction and he's helping to get going.
breaking from about fourteen miles per hour results in a nearly five and a half foot shorter stopping distance on the Blizzak's compared to the Firestones.
The biggest difference comes when turning.
Both tires do find making a typical ninety degree turn at nine miles per hour.
Problem is, nobody takes turns at nine miles per hour.
Punching things up to twelve miles an hour, which is still slow, yields a drastically different outcome.
The leads car on all seasons, plows forward.
While a second car on the winner's grips completes the turn with zero issues.
So, what did we learn on the ice?
Well, all wheel drive does a good job masking the deficiencies of all season tires when accelerating in sleet conditions.
But it doesn't help with braking or turning.
Those situations rely mostly on mechanical grip from the only thing connecting a car to the road, which are the tires.
And to get the most of that when temps drop and the snow flies isn't on all seasons.
But, to roll on winter tires, which specifically develop compounds and tread designs that ultimately make for safer winter commuting.