When there’s ice and snow on the road, we think differently about how we drive. Even the most experienced winter drivers know that you have to be more careful driving in the winter, even when there isn’t snow on the ground. For better control on the road, many drivers swap out their tires for winter tires. But is it worth going to the mechanic to change your tires every year for just a few months?

To determine whether winter tires are worth it, you need to know the differences between winter and all-season tires.

Tread Pattern

One of the key differences between winter tires and all-season tires is the tread pattern. Winter tires have a deeper tread with more aggressive tread blocks, usually featuring more sipes (slits) and larger grooves. These features provide better traction on the road, especially in slippery conditions. All-season tires have a less aggressive tread pattern with smaller, more continuous tread blocks. They are designed to perform in more variable conditions.

Rubber Compound

Winter tires also have a different rubber composition than all-season tires. All-season tires have to perform in a wide range of temperatures, but they can become brittle in low temperatures. Winter tires are made of a special rubber compound that stays flexible at low temperatures. Staying flexible allows them to have a better grip on the road in icy and snowy conditions. Winter tires are designed to perform at temperatures below 45º F, which is why they are preferable in areas that have long stretches of cold weather.


This is the one area where all-season tires have winter tires beat, but there is a caveat. All-season tires last for a long time because manufacturers design them for year-round use. Winter tires don’t last as long if you measure in miles driven, but they are only supposed to be on your car for a few months out of the year. You can use the same set of winter tires for multiple years because they are usually only in use for about three months at a time.

Make Weston Automotive Your Go-To Mechanic

At Weston Automotive, our goal is to keep you and your car on the road and driving safely. If you want to use winter tires this year or need some routine maintenance, we are your go-to mechanic in the Weston, MA, area.

Contact us today to schedule a service appointment with an expert mechanic.