With no substantial snow yet in Chicago, you still have a little time if you are pondering this question.
Snow tires provide a level of grip and confidence during bad weather that regular tires simply do not have.
What is the price of being safer while driving in bad weather? With that said, there are some genuine ways that snow tires and wheels actually pay back if you use them efficiently.
A set of wheels and snow tires allow you to stretch the life of the tires you use in the months when the weather is better. Regular tires rely on being warm for grip – below 50F, most tires start to lose their performance. Snow tires on the other hand simply love to be cold – they work more efficiently as the temperature drops below 50F. Regular tires & especially high performance summer tires do not like cold weather and are subject to cracking. Add to this salt and an enlarged number of difficult to see potholes and one can easily shorten the life of regular tires through one winter alone. Those potholes can make a real mess of expensive factory rims, not to mention the destructive power of road chemicals on the wheel finish.
A set of winter wheels and snow tires should allow for up to 2 additional summer seasons per set of tires. This can push a set of high performance tires comfortably through lasting 5 years. My experience is that my summer tire sets last approximately 1.7 times longer through using a set of winter wheels and tires. Almost double the life in terms of time for expensive high performance summer tires – that’s a good result.
The key to making winter tires last is getting them on the car when the weather drops below 50F – usually Thanksgiving time in Chicago – and importantly, getting them off the car before the temp exceeds 50F on average – usually April time. Winter tires wear rapidly above 50F.
Rennology Motor Sport Inc. – a 5 Star Tirerack installer – can assist you to identify, purchase and install a complete range of tires and wheels that are suitable for your vehicle and for all specific weather conditions.