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Available winter tire options

· Automotive
winter tires

As we are approaching winter, some will need new winter tires for their vehicles. Winter tires, or snow tires as they are often referred to as, are tires that are made for use during the winter season, when you have freezing temperatures and winter conditions such as snow and/or ice. Winter tires are tires that are dedicated for these conditions and have also passed performance tests in winter conditions and have the 3PMSF (Three Peak Snowflake) -symbol also known as severe service emblem on the tire's sidewall. This is different from the M+S marking that just indicates that the tread is good for mud and snow but doesn't indicate its performance.


In addition to winter tires, you also have some all-weather tires that are approved for winter use and can actually be used all-year round in all possible weather conditions. This is different from the all-season tires, that sound like they would be safe to use during the winter season, but these tires are basically summer tires that can be used for spring, summer and fall, but not winter if you have winter conditions with snow and ice. The name has made many consumers confused, as you shouldn't drive on snow or ice with all-season tires, as that is associated with decreased safety.


The available winter tire options are therefore basically, winter approved all-weather tires or dedicated winter tires, where you have studded or non-studded tires. Studded tires are not allowed in all states or provinces. In some areas you don't have any winter conditions during the year, so you can manage with all-season tires, whereas the other areas you have to either opt not to use your car or then change tires to tires that are approved for winter use.


If you live in an area that has reoccurring winter weather and you know that you will have a few months of winter weather, then you will need to have proper tires for these conditions and dedicated tires will be your best and safest option. This does though require that you mount the winter tires before the snow arrives and you have them mounted during the whole period where you have or might have snow. Winter tires are superior to all-season tires even during low temperatures, so if you have temperatures below 32° Fahrenheit it is already safer to drive with winter tires. The choice of studded or non-studded tires will depend on if they are allowed and what will be the best option for you.


If you live in an area that have occasional winter conditions, but you still need your car for everyday use, then you might be safer and have more convenience with all-weather tires. This gives you a better safety profile during the year than all-season tires if you would end up in situations where you have snow or ice. You do however need to make sure that you rotate the tires during the year to even out any differences in wear.


For more information of available winter tires, visit:

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