Are Winter Tires Right for My Vehicle?

November 12th, 2021 by

A snow tire and snowflake are shown on a dark background.

Seasonal tire changes are an important part of vehicular maintenance. They can change a number of attributes about a vehicle, from the fuel economy to handling, stability, and longevity. Bad tires or the wrong tires can unnecessarily wear down a vehicle much quicker; this applies even more so when driving in snowy conditions without proper tires. However, not everyone thinks about winter tires for their vehicle, especially if they may have all-season tires equipped or all-terrain tires. And you might even be one of the ones wondering if winter tires are for you. Read on if you’re contemplating buying a set of discount tires in Cincinnati, but you want to make sure that you’re buying the right kind for your vehicle.

I Have a Sedan. Should I Get Winter Tires?

A lot of people drive sedans as economical vehicles. If it’s an all-around vehicle that you drive throughout the entire year, then it might be best to keep the right kind of tires equipped on it, whether it’s a subcompact, compact, mid-size, or full-size sedan. The right tires on your sedan can make or break its handling, especially during winter.

If you have a smaller vehicle, you’re more prone to hydroplaning across wet roads after a light snowfall or when a sheet of ice is present since smaller vehicles have less weight to keep them pinned down to the ground. This makes winter tires for subcompact and compact sedans a must if you plan on doing a lot of heavy driving during the winter season or where a lot of snowfall or sleet is present. Some people attempt to skate by with all-season tires, but if you have a light vehicle, especially one that is only two-wheel drive, it’s better to go with winter tires and play it safe that way.

For larger full-size sedans, some people like to save money by going with all-season tires. Those can be useful if you’re dealing with a light winter where there isn’t a whole lot of snowfall or the temperatures don’t drop to the point where roads get slick with ice. While it might seem cost-effective to stick with an all-season tire for the winter on a larger sedan, when you’re dealing with heavy snow or possible winter storms, the much safer bet is to go with a full set of winter threads for all four wheels.

A silver sedan is shown driving on a snow-covered road with discount tires in Cincinnati.

I Have a Sports Car. Should I Get Winter Tires?

If there’s one thing you probably don’t want to do in a sports car is drive it during the winter. These cars are usually quite seasonal, perfect for spring, summer, and fall. However, depending on the weather conditions where you live, it’s usually advised to keep the sports cars stored during the winter season. Why? Because due to their low ride height and equally low center of gravity, they are highly prone to spinning out on snowy streets. It’s usually made worse with performance sports cars that are rear-wheel drive. Why? Because with rear-wheel drive sports cars, the vehicle is only able to distribute torque to the two rear wheels, and if one of them loses traction, you are going to spin out.

However, if you have a sports car as your only vehicle and you must drive it during the winter, you absolutely will need winter tires. While it’s always going to be a risk taking a high-performance sports car out on the road during the wintertime, you will at least be able to take comfort in knowing that you have the best grip available when it comes to tires on the road. This is thanks to the way the winter tires are designed, with sipes to extract moisture and water and grooves to retain snow to help maintain contact with the surface.

Winter tires may not give your sports car super-traction during wet, slippery, or icy road conditions, but if you have a performance vehicle, it absolutely will help get you to and from your destination if you drive cautiously and safely. So long as you keep it easy on the throttle and avoid gunning it on the road, winter tires should absolutely help you with maintaining traction with your performance sports car. They are absolutely a must-have.

I Have an SUV. Should I Get Winter Tires?

With SUVs, they ride higher than sedans, can have all-wheel or four-wheel drive, and provide better traction and stability control for basic driving. Some people might assume that they might be able to forego winter tires for an SUV so long as all-season tires are equipped. And while this might be a somewhat accurate assessment if you drive in places where the winters are mild, and you’re not expecting much in the way of icy roads or lots of snow-covered streets, it’s important to still take into consideration appropriate safety measures while driving in heavy winter conditions.

Even with traction and stability control provided with most SUVs, the one thing you don’t want to do is risk hydroplaning or losing control on sharp turns. While SUVs are heavier than sedans and can provide you with some good stability on straightaways and most soft turns, if you have anything less than winter tires while attempting to take sharp corners or tight bends, it could spell disaster. This is why winter tires are essential in such cases.

One important thing to consider is that, unlike all-season tires, winter tires are specifically designed to withstand freezing temperatures without becoming hard or cracked. The large treads help a lot with creating a very stable driving experience for all manner of SUVs. If you have an off-road-oriented SUV and you already have all-terrain tires equipped, you might be able to get by with those, but if you have a casual, economical, or luxury-oriented SUV, then you should definitely consider getting winter tires.

A stack of discount snow tires is shown.

I Have a Truck. Should I Get Winter Tires?

Depending on the truck you have will depend on if you need winter tires for your truck. If you have a pickup where you regularly head off-road, tackling dirt mounds, uphill rock climbs, or trudging through ravines, then your truck is likely outfitted with all-terrain tires. These tires are still pretty good for use during the winter and can work just as well as winter tires if you regularly travel through light snow or partially wet roads.

If you have an off-road truck that is used in areas where there is heavy snow, or you sometimes have to deal with several inches of snow due to storms or freezing cold temperatures, standard all-terrain tires will not do. Now there are some all-terrain tires rated for severe snowy weather, and they are oftentimes used for those who do a lot of off-roading and driving in places where they need to get through mud, dirt, rocks, water, and thick sheets of snow. In that case, all-terrain tires rated for severe snow will be a good option.

However, if you aren’t using your truck for a lot of off-road purposes and mostly stick to traveling along paved roads, you’re going to want to go with a good set of winter tires for your truck. The winter tire will offer you the grip and stability you need to stay on the road. If you need discount tires in Cincinnati for your sedan, SUV, van, or truck, you can easily check out our line-up of discount tires for your needs.