STATEWIDE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Snow season is upon us, have you changed your car's tires yet?
We wanted to see if snow tires and all season tires were really that different. So we reached out to Bennett Auto Care in Bangor and spoke with one of it's auto technicians, Dan Betts. He says there are three major differences: material, design and ability to stud.
All season tires are made out of a harder rubber, which means they wont expand as easily in the cold. Whereas, snow tires are made from a softer rubber, allowing them to expand and work as traction pads on the snow.
"If you rub your hand across an all season tire you can feel its very slippery, its almost going to be like rubbing your hand across wax or something like that," Betts said. "If you rub your hands across a snow tire it actually is harder to go, almost like if your foot was on a basketball court with sneakers, you're going to stick to the floor fairly well as opposed to bowling shoes."
The design of the tire is also different. Snow tires have more sipes on them, which are slits across the tire that allow for more traction in snowy and icy conditions. "You can see all the little lines that are going to help you travel through the snowy conditions," Betts said. "They can actually physically spread open so they will give you more traction on the snowy highway."
The last major difference is that many snow tires have the ability to be studded. "Most of them can be studded for better stop and take off capabilities," Betts said. "Later in the season you're going to get the powdery snow, icy roads, so you're going to want to have studs or a stud-less snow tire that are designed to help you in those conditions."
So yes, all season and snow tires are different and Betts recommends everyone use snow tires for a safer winter commute.