Winter Tire Guide

Winter Tire Guide
Low angle shot of a tire on a vehicle in the snow.

The advantage of winter tiresThe advantage of winter tires

There's no better way to prepare for the ice, snow and cold than with winter tires to make sure you get where you need to go during the season, safely.

What are the advantages of winter tires?

Winter tires work best in temperatures below 45° because they are specifically made for optimal driving in winter conditions. All-season tires tend to work better in warmer climates in spring, summer and most temperatures during the fall season.

The pliable compounds allow winter tires to remain soft and flexible in cold conditions, which mean drivers can maintain handling and control behind the wheel – two extremely critical components to your safety on winter roads that may be covered with snow and ice. All-season tires become stiffer in the winter season and are less pliable, possibly compromising your ability to control your vehicle in wet and slick conditions on the road.

The tread design of winter tires also assists with ensuring that drivers have optimal handling this winter with features such as increased traction and control, wider grooves to help drain water, slush, ice and snow, allowing your vehicle to keep contact with the road. This is a significant contrast with as much as 25 to 50 percent more than all-season tires, which have reduced ice and snow traction.

In addition to much-improved handling control when comparing all-season to winter tires, vehicles also experience better performance on the road during the cold season.

Winter tires offer improved stopping and starting, better turning and maneuvering when traveling in cold temperatures and on wet or snow-covered roads.

The Fantastic Four: Are four winter tires better than just two?

It's always a better bet to place four matching winter tires on your vehicle rather than just two – no matter the drive system. This will help maintain a balanced and controlled experience on the road during the season.

If you place two on the front, you risk the back of your vehicle fishtailing. Placing two on the back creates the risk that the front tires won't be able to grip as well as needed, which is where your vehicle gets its power to turn and maneuver.

How do you identify winter tires?

You decided you want to purchase four tires for your vehicle this winter and you need to know how to identify them. Thankfully, manufacturers have made it so shopping for winter tires isn't too complex. You can usually spot a snowflake symbol on the sidewalls.

Some mistake M and S to mean mud and snow, but they are actually specifications for tread design on all-season tires, which have not been tested in winter conditions and are not guaranteed to perform well in winter conditions.

Belle Tire also has off-season storage if you are looking for a safe, climate-controlled space for your all-season tires this winter. Learn more about the convenient tire storage service.

How do you take care of the other parts of your ride this winter?

Make sure to check out our tire basics so that the only parts of your vehicle that touch the road remain in great shape.

Take a look at our robust stock of winter tires or stop by the location nearest you to speak to one of our winter tires experts today!

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