In temperate weather zones, vehicles will perform successfully with all-season tires year-round. If it is warm for most of the year, even summer tires can be a year-round choice.
However, for much of the United States, winter is a cold month and often very snowy as well. If this is the case in your area, you should definitely consider purchasing snow tires or winter tires, and change them out when the weather turns.
The reason why winter tires are so important in snowy climates is because they are specially made to help your vehicle’s performance and safety in winter conditions. The rubber compounds are designed to handle lower temperatures and the threads on the tire are specially made.
On winter tires, the threads are a pattern of elements that can cut into the snow with each turn. There are also several very fine cuts in the threading called “sipes.” These criss-cross sipes divide the thread blocks into different edges, resulting in better grip on slippery roads.
Summer tires are made of compounds that support warm weather conditions, keeping the tire at its best performance for the climate. They are designed to maximize performance. The thread is usually made up of large blocks with wide circumferential grooves that can expel summer rain water.
If you are concerned about the expense of keeping two sets of tires, you can buy your tires on sale, during the off-season. Buy the winter tires on sale in summer and vice versa. If you can’t change the tires out yourself, most Utah auto shops will not charge much to do that for you.