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Winter vs. All-Season Tires – What’s the difference?

Jan 22, 2013

As the only contact point between the road and your vehicle,
your tires play a very important role in everything related to grip, traction,
braking, turning and handling. Most oil field job sites are now requiring
winter tires. Also the province of Quebec have made winter tires mandatory
during a certain portion of the year. 

Many people don't realize or understand the value of using
winter tires, as most new cars and trucks are sold with all-season tires, which
some claim to be good enough in winter. It's no surprise that many do not see
the point in spending more of their hard earned dollars on another set of
tires.

Winter tires use a more flexible rubber compound that's
specifically designed to work at lower temperatures and prevent snow buildup in
the tread by evacuating it. This results in a tire with superior grip on ice
and snow. Normally a winter tire has a more open tread with lots of sipes or
grooves.  These sipes open and close as
the tire touches the ground providing the “bite”.

With an all-season tire the rubber compound becomes very
hard in the cold, kind of like a hockey puck, and snow easily builds up in the
grooves. Your all-season tires are not likely to maintain traction in our cold
winter climate.

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