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Frequently Asked Questions
For the most part it depends on the winter temperatures where you live. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If the winter temperatures where you live are regularly below 45 degrees F, you should invest in a set of four snow tires. If you live in a place where it rarely snows and the winter temperatures are relatively mild, like the Southern United States, your all–season tires are probably fine.
Winter tires are built specifically to perform in winter conditions like low temperatures, ice, slush, and snow. All–season tires are built to handle a variety of road conditions–dry roads, wet roads, and in many cases, light snow. The tread compound of all–season tires can harden in low temperatures, so there’s less traction between the road and your tires. But winter tires use special rubber compounds that stay pliable in the cold, giving them better grip and improved braking, even in extreme conditions.
Winter tires should only be installed in sets of four, regardless of whether your vehicle is front–wheel drive, rear–wheel drive, or all–wheel drive. Using two different types of tires can give your vehicle a “split personality” where the front and rear are not working together. For the best handling, control, and safety in tough cold-weather conditions, you want four winter tires on your vehicle.
We certainly wouldn’t recommend it. When used in warm weather, the softer rubber compound used in winter tires can wear out faster than the compound used in all–season tires. If you used your winter tires year–round, it would end up costing you more than switching between two sets of tires.