Whether we are in denial about the end of summer, or just busy thinking about a million other things, most of us don’t give any thought to winter tires until the first snow or ice hits. At that point, everyone is thinking about them, panic ensues, and winter tires, like shovels, suddenly become very difficult to find.
If you are in need of new winter tires, fall is the time to shop for and buy them. Retailers begin to stock the newest models of winter tires in the fall, so you will have the best selection from which to choose. If your tire retailer does not have the tires you want in the size you need, you can typically order them, and your retailer will install them, at your convenience, before the winter weather strikes.
Since winter tires are usually manufactured during the previous summer, quantities are most often limited. If you put off shopping for your winter tires too long, you may not get the tires or the price you want.
Not sure if you need winter tires? Consider the weather in your region. Do you often drive in snowy or icy conditions? In the winter time, do you find yourself waiting to leave until the roads in your area have been cleared? If so, then winter tires probably make sense for you. Winter tires offer superior grip when driving, stopping, and cornering. Winter tires do have the drawback of faster tread wear than all-season tires. This is because the tread is designed to bite into snow and ice, and the softer rubber is formulated to stay pliable at freezing temperatures. As long as you change back to your all-season tires in the spring, your investment should last for several seasons.
When shopping for winter tires, note that they have a mountain/snowflake symbol on the sidewall. It assures you that they passed an industry test for severe snow use.