It simply is true:
Winter tires lack the tread wear rating for a reason.
I also said I haven't used snow tires on my CARS in over 30 years, but I
do use them on my snow plow truck and they wear MUCH faster than
Winter tire design and
I have no doubt that snow tires will outlast performance summer tires as
they have VERY soft compounds and absolutely lousy tread life. However,
they will not outwear a good all-season tire, not even close. Post even
one credible reference that suggests otherwise.
No, they boil down to "I don't need them." It is as simple as that.
A question for you, do you drive only all-wheel drive vehicles?
Did you even read either of these articles??? Here's the first paragraph
from the second one:
"Even if your car has traction control or an ABS braking system, those
features won't improve traction on snow and ice. Experts at The Tire
Rack say only snow tires will actually improve grip on snow and ice.
Although all-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive is an advantage, you'll
still improve safety by swapping your summer or all-season tires for
winter ones. This is because snow tires have special tread designs that
help them bite into the snow. Snow tires also use a softer rubber
compound, so they stay flexible at lower temperatures."
That certainly doesn't support your anti-winter tire assertions.
They lack a tread wear rating because they're not designed for
On your truck I can believe it, but on cars it's not true, at least not
in the absolute terms you proclaim. I can give you a perfect example,
the tires on my Elantra. The car is an '04 and I've driven both sets of
tires for four seasons (the winter season isn't over yet, but it's close
enough). My summer tires - the stock Michelins that came on the car -
are completely worn out and must be replaced. Actually, they really
should have been replaced before last season, but they just passed
inspection. In contrast, my winter tires still have 2/3 of their
original depth. They will last at least another season and perhaps two.
Obviously, you're wrong, as the results on my car prove. I don't need a
reference, I have the tires to prove it. If it makes you happy, I'll
send you pictures of both. Your argument is simply a fabrication to
support your bias against winter tires.
Don't change the subject. I've already covered that ground in another post.
I've never made an anti-winter tire assertion. I'm not against them,
I've said they are better than all-season tires in snow and ice, but
I've also said that all-seasons are more than adequate for my needs and
thus I don't need winter tires.
And because they wear so quickly consumers would be shocked at the numbers.
Tires wear by the mile not by the season.
You haven't provided any data to prove anything. You have provided no
mileages for the life of any tires, just "seasons" which is irrelevant.
You aren't consistent. If you want the best possible performance, then
you must drive AWD along with your snow tires. If you aren't driving
AWD vehicles, then you are settling for less than the best.
Fair enough, but you certainly are going out of your way to rationalize
that decision and discourage others from trying winter tires.
More BS from you, Matt? My tires are wearing quite slowly. Please do
explain why so we can all be enlightened.
Gee, no kidding? If it makes you feel any better, I drive the same
distances year round, in the same manner and mostly highway miles. I
typically use my summer tires ~20% more than my winter tires, which is
nowhere near enough to explain the increased wear. Your blanket
statement about tire wear is obviously, blatantly false, but you
apparently can't deal with being wrong.
See the details above. You're wrong, get over it.
Please show me where I ever said that I wanted the "best possible
performance". You made that up, which is pretty lame, Matt.
Everything to do with automotive performance is a compromise. When it
comes to dealing with winter conditions, I draw the line at spending
thousands of extra dollars for AWD or 4WD vehicles and thousands more in
increased fuel, insurance and maintenance costs to gain a marginal
improvement in acceleration traction in winter conditions (AWD/4WD does
nothing to improve braking or cornering in slippery conditions). I'm far
more concerned with being able to turn and stop than I am with
accelerating or getting stuck (I've only gotten stuck - briefly - in
snow once in the past 30 years, and that was because I tried to drive
though 18" of it in an un-plowed parking lot). The poor handling and
high center of gravity of many SUVs - particularly those that are truck
based - is arguably more likely to cause an accident than their AWD/4WD
systems are to prevent one. IMO, most SUV drivers would be better off
with a car that inherently handles better, equipped with four winter
tires. The environment would be better off too, but that's another
You and I apparently draw the line at different point and that's fine.
However, your fabrication of bogus disadvantages to winter tires in an
effort to justify your position is just plain pathetic.
I don't know how you drive nor what kind of tires you have so I have no
way to explain it.
So, as I expected, your mileage per year on your summer tires is NOT the
same as your winter tires as you implied in your comparison. I provided
several references that indicate that winter tires wear more rapidly
than all-season tires. You have provided nothing but your opinion to
the contrary. Sorry, that isn't even close to data.
You provided nothing but your opinion. Sorry, you are wrong, get over it.
You are again wrong on virtually all counts. The gain in acceleration
and ability to go through deep snow provided by AWD is substantial as
compared the winter tires on FWD. I believe it was the Consumer Reports
link that gave the figures here, but I realize that you value your own
opinion over real data.
It is also patently false to say that AWD/4WD does nothing to add
cornering. A tire has only so much tractive force available to handle
all demands placed on it: acceleration and maintaining forward speed
(rearward force), cornering (side force) and deceleration (frontward
force). A car that is driven by only two wheels is requiring those two
tires to transfer both the full rearward force required to keep the car
moving at a steady speed in a corner as well as the side force required.
And since FWD cars typically have 60% or more of their weight on the
driving wheels, this puts a substantial burden on those two tires.
Transferring half of the required rearward force to the rear tires gives
the front tires additional margin which provides more side force and
thus more cornering capability. This is simple physics and well
understood by most automotive engineers, rally car drivers, and people
like me who drive FWD and 4WD vehicles every week all winter long.
You are mostly correct with regard to braking, but even then not
completely correct for two reasons:
1. Most AWD/4WD vehicles have a more favorable weight distribution as
compared to FWD vehicles and the relatively greater weight on the rear
wheels allows them to better share the braking force and thus deliver
more braking force.
2. My 4WD truck has no ABS, but the direct connection at the transfer
case coupled with the locking differential means that rear wheels won't
lock up and skid until at least one front wheel is also locked. This is
a great advantage over a RWD truck where the rear wheels can lock under
very light braking effort when on slick roads. My truck thus stops much
better in 4WD than in 2WD (which is RWD).
I have not asserted a single bogus disadvantage to winter tires. Some
of the disadvantages they have are as follows and as documented in
several independent links I have provided. You have provided NOT A
SINGLE independent reference, just your opinion. The arrogance of that
Some winter tire disadvantages:
1. Must make two extra tire changes each year or must buy an extra set
of rims and make two wheel changes a year.
2. Poorer tread life.
3. Poorer performance on dry pavement (which is what exists MOST of the
year even in the snow belt regions. In PA and NY, it is rare to have
snow or ice on the public roads for more than a couple hours after a
storm is over. Given that most snow storms last less than 24 hours,
that means maybe 26 hours of snowy/slushy roads per storm. Given that
we get at most one snow per week on average, and typically more like one
every 2-4 weeks, that means that the conditions where winter tires excel
exist for at most 26/168 = 15% of the time and more typically 5% of the
time. I simply choose to use tires that perform better 95% of the time
rather than 5% of the time. Pretty simple logic, eh? :-)
So, which of the above is bogus? And it only counts if you can provide
a legitimate and independent reference that refutes what I wrote. The
"it is bogus because I say it is bogus" line or argument simply carries
The explanation is simple, the winter tires are more durable. I doubt
that's the case in every comparison of ASRs and winter tires, but it
clearly illustrates that your contention that winter tires wear rapidly
You really are hopeless, Matt. I've given you detailed information that
refutes your assertion and you still won't give up. I could easily have
kept that to myself if I wanted to be deceptive like you, but I'm not
No Matt, I've got tires that prove you're wrong. That's not an opinion,
it's clear evidence. If nothing else, watching you grasping at straws
and destroying your credibility is somewhat entertaining, if a little sad.
Here's a link to a Car and Driver article that clearly states that snow
tires provide a bigger advantage in snow than AWD/4WD:
Frankly, I trust them more than Comsumer Reports when it comes to cars.
As for real data, you obviously wouldn't know it if it bit you in the
ass, Matt. ;-)
And when you're rolling through a corner, there is little or no tractive
or braking force being transferred.
You need to go back to physics 101, Matt. In slippery conditions, the
differences you're talking about are tiny. Your ARSs will slip before
snow tires will and AWD/4WD is never going to be able to make up the
Regardless of the MINOR difference in weight distribution, the front
tires are still going to bear ~70-75% of the braking load. Once again,
the superior traction of snow tires will trump the theoretical
improvement from a slight difference in weight distribution. You're
still grasping at straws, Matt.
We're not talking about trucks, Matt. You're changing the subject again.
But since we're on it, your plow-equipped truck has far WORSE weight
distribution than a front-drive car or rear drive truck. I wonder what
effect that will have... (I can't wait to see what you make up next.
I put mine on rims, which is the most sensible thing to do. I change
them twice per year (as I stated before), which is when they're due to
be rotated anyway. There's no disadvantage at all beyond the initial
cost of the rims. Having snow tires saves wear on more expensive summer
tires, so over a few years, the cost of the wheels will be amortized.
Wrong. How many times are we going to go over this same ground? I have
the evidence that proves you wrong. End of story.
Some winter tires do have less dry traction than some ASRs, but making
another blanket statement is likely to come back to haunt you, Matt
(some ASRs just plain suck at everything). For the way I drive, it makes
no difference. I have never had a problem stopping with them on dry
pavement and the only thing I notice is that they handle slightly
differently, which I adjust to in about five minutes. Just for laughs, I
have pushed them to their cornering limits and they actually break loose
more gradually and predictably than my summer tires, though at a
slightly lower cornering speed (which is what one would expect of
narrower tires with a higher aspect ratio). While they certainly aren't
necessary on dry roads, I love 'em every time I drive in snow, which has
been rather frequently this winter.
You are completely hopeless, Matt. If you're ever in the neighborhood of
southern NH in the winter, I'll be glad to give you a demonstration that
proves your assertions are nonsense. Not that you'll ever admit it...
Okay, so let's say I have a sedan with nice looking mags and a "too full"
garage. Should I buy 4 less than beautiful steel wheels to mount 4 snow
tires when their benefit to me is trivial? I don't have space to store less
than necessary stuff in my garage --- along with the other probably
unnecessary junk I've got there : )
I think that's the mindset of people who live in the climate area I'm
If I had a nice set of wheels I would probably buy a set of snows w/
steel wheels for several reasons.
1) I do not drive aggressively enough to worry about the difference in
2) Here in SE Michigan we have these thing that crop up every winter
called potholes. Hit a large one at speed with your nice wheel and tire
and you could be out almost the cost of a set of winter tires/wheels.
3) The gain in snow driveability that you will gain from a narrower tire
say going from a 255/50/17 to a 225/75/16 (example only) with a winter
specific tread is undeniable. Yes you can drive all winter with all
season tires but if I had the money and drove a lot of miles I defy
anyone, that has had experience with both, to honestly say that on a
snow and/or ice covered road that they will opt for all season over
winter tires .
4) Keeping my nice wheels free of road salt and extending the life of my
"good" tires by five to ten months are also added benefits.
Only you can decide if the benefits are trivial or not. Where you live,
how much snow, what your nice mags and wheels cost, what the road
conditions are and whether you have space to store an extra set are all
considerations that only you can factor in.
And keep in mind that SE Michigan has noticeably less snow than
mid-Michigan. I drove over 45 years on mid-Michigan roads and could never
justify snow tires. And a good part of those years was before
front-while-drive and radial tires were commonplace.
Of course, now that I live in sunny southern Arizona I don't have to even
consider them : )
I have to disagree with you here. I find modern all-season tires very
good in snow. Not as good as snow tires, no doubt, but good enough for
99.9% of the snow I encounter in a typical winter and I encounter about
5 months worth here in PA.
They aren't the best possible tire in snow, but then I don't need the
best possible tire. I need a tire good enough for my conditions and
that is what my all-season tires are: good enough for my needs.
Saying you need snow tires is like saying you need all-wheel drive.
All-wheel drive is better than FWD, but that doesn't mean that every
NEEDS it. Same with snow tires.
That's my point, so I'm happy to echo your words Matt. Here in Central NY,
I've just never encountered the time when I "needed" snow tires. My driving
habits are not impared by a good ASR, and I haven't suffered incoveniences
that would have been avoided with snows. I tend to drive as fast and as
aggressively as conditions permit, and I just expect that winter conditions
can and often do, dictate that those two terms don't mean the same thing
they do in the summer time. Snows would not change that. It's not all
about being able to take off. It's also about being able to stop, avoid,
etc. The marginal benefit that snows would offer in the full spectrum of
winter driving are just lost on me. If I haven't encountered needs for them
in the 30+ years since I last purchased a snow tire, why would I want to put
them on now? They wouldn't change my winter time driving habits, so any
marginal benefit would just be lost. Without a doubt - I fully agree with
your dissention to the previous comment that ASR's are insufficient for
winter use. Touring tires are (IMHO), but there are a lot of very good ASR
tread patterns that are perfectly acceptable for winter use.
Which leaves unturned, that huge stone that attempts to argue that since 4WD
will take off better in snow, move through snow better with 7 1/2 feet of
steel sticking off the nose, and in fact push the weight of that snow ahead
of that 7 1/2 feet of steel, that 4WD must be better in snow. There are
downsides to the confidence that falsely creeps into people's minds when
there are niche benefits to things.
That's exactly my point. Snow tires improve performance in ALL of those
categories in bad conditions.
No, it's not like that at all. The truth is that very few people
actually NEED 4WD or AWD, they just THINK they do. They perceive
benefits that simply aren't there and ignore the downsides.
What people actually need is better traction in a vehicle that handles
well. FWD and AWD are not a guarantee of the former, since the tires are
at least as large of a factor as the drive system, and they're a
definite disadvantage when it come to handling, except in the case of
some higher-end AWD systems in cars.
Absolutely! It's what convinces people to spend thousands of extra
dollars on vehicles that are no better in the snow - and often worse -
than a FWD car with a few hundred dollars worth of snow tires on it.
It's also what makes them feel invincible enough to drive like idiots in
bad conditions and ultimately end up off the road on their roofs.
You didn't read this one either, did you? It supports my assertions much
more than yours.
Yes, I read it and it supports my assertions just fine.
What part of "The best were the all-wheel-drive cars, which reached
almost 20 mph sooner, on average, than the front-drive cars equipped
with winter tires." didn't you understand?
And what part of "Our advice. Consider an all-wheel-drive vehicle if you
live in a snowy area or want added peace of mind. For maximum traction,
equip it with winter tires. In less-snowy areas, front-wheel drive and a
set of winter tires should suffice. Mount winter tires on all four
wheels for balanced handling. Remove them after winter, since these
tires wear quickly on dry roads (plan on about three winters of use).
And be sure to opt for ABS on any vehicle." didn't you catch?
AWD is best in snowy areas. Winter tires should SUFFICE (emphasis added
so you can't miss it) in less-snow areas. "These tires (referring to
winter tires) WEAR QUICKLY on dry roads. Again, emphasis added since
you missed this the first time around.
The only thing they left out is that all-season tires also suffice in
most areas of the country.
If the main criteria is who can get to 20 mph the fastest then yes AWD
is the answer. Unfortunately, there is more to driving then who can be
quickest. I would rather be able to avoid an incident through steering
or braking as opposed to out-accelerating it. There is nothing more
satisfying then seeing an SUV, that has blown by me on a snow covered
road, in the median a short time later. HMMM... guess that AWD/4WD
didn't help you when you had to do something besides accelerate.
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