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February 26, 2023

Understanding the Difference Between All Season Tires vs. Winter Tires

Minnesotans are gearing up for another winter season. For many drivers, the recent shift in icy temperatures means it’s time to purchase a new set of tires before the heavy snow hits. One popular question we’re often asked at our auto mechanic training school is whether all season tires are a better investment than winter tires, or vice versa.

While all season tires perform well in snowy conditions when compared to traditional (or summer) tires—not to mention also spare you the hassle of switching your tires before/after winter—the fact is all season tires lack the dependable grip and traction of winter tires, making them less desirable for the snowy roads ahead.   


To help you choose the right tires for your car, here’s a quick list of each tire’s pros and cons:

All Season Tires

Pros of All Season Tires:
• Year-Round Performance
• Low Maintenance Required
• Affordable Alternative

Cons of All Season Tires:
• Low Traction in Freezing Temperatures
• Less Grip on Snowy Roads
• Tread Patterns Won’t Prevent Snow Build Up

The sole purpose of all season tires is to provide adequate year-round performance in various driving conditions. What this narrows down to, however, is that your tires will perform well in moderate weather conditions, but they won’t offer advanced capabilities to handle extreme elements. So, if you’re living in Minnesota or any state that experiences intense seasonal changes, such as a snowy or below freezing winters, all season tires cannot protect you and your family from harsh outdoor elements. 

Winter Tires

Pros of Winter Tires:
• Ideal Traction on Ice, Snow, and Slush
• Deeper Tread Depths
• Tread Patterns Reduce Snowy Buildup

Cons of Winter Tires:
• Easily Wear Down
• Costly to Replace
• Routine Maintenance

Winter tires are ideal for heavy snow conditions or freezing temperatures. Because winter tires are made of soft rubber, its tread is more flexible and won’t harden when temperatures drop.

For more tips on how to winterize your car, stay connected with our blog page for helpful resources on car maintenance. If you’d like to learn more about Newgate School and how your car donation in the Twin Cities can help low-income young adults find rewarding careers as auto body technicians, browse through our website or contact us today!