Wintertime in Michigan means ice, snow, and slippery roads. We at convenience auto service recommend getting snow tires (also known as winter tires) when the weather drops consistently below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. While snow tires are louder than all-season tires, there is a significant body of objective evidence that snow tires are a safer alternative than all-season tires in the snow and ice. Snow tires are made with a different material than typical tires, which helps them stick to the ground better in wet and icy conditions than all-season tires. Snow tires have wider spaces / more aggressive tread patterns in order to cut through snow. Although the tread pattern of a snow tire is helpful. The main advantage for purchasing winter tires is that tires designed specifically for cold weather are made of a softer rubber compound that stays more pliable in the winter, which keeps the tire in better contact with the road, even when there is no snow on the ground. A winter tire will give you better handling and stopping distance during cold winter months.
If you do plan on using snow tires, we recommend that you change all four tires - it is less safe to only put snow tires on the back or only on the front. Having two different sets of tires makes degrades handling and stopping distance. In addition, if you were to put snow tires on the back and keep them there, the tires would wear unevenly, making more work for you later. When you want to change into snow tires, all four tires should be changed.
With all of that being said, it is important to remember to put your all-season tires back on your car when the winter season is over. Winter tires will wear faster in the heat of spring and summer. The harder rubber compounds used for normal all-season tires will wear longer and get better mileage during the summer months.