Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Winter tires

Simple Answers from Protech Auto Service


What is the benefit of winter tires?

Protech Auto Service Answer:

This is a really good question. Most new vehicles in Tehachapi come with all-season tires that work pretty well in the winter conditions drivers may encounter. First, let’s talk about the things that dedicated winter tires do really well, touch on all-seasons and then you should have some information to help you in your tire selection.

The first thing about winter is that it’s cold. The rubber compound used in summer and all-season tires gets a bit hard when California temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit/7 degrees Centigrade. Winter tires, on the other hand, stay more pliable as the thermometer drops. This means better dry road traction in the cold.

Ice and snow is the next thing Tehachapi drivers worry about during California winters. Now some California drivers live where there is a lot of snow, a lot of the time. Extreme winter condition snow tires have a tread design that cuts into and expels deep snow for maximum traction. These tires have a mountain and snowflake icon on the sidewall of the tire.

If you live in California where the ice and snow are more moderate you can still benefit from winter tires. Their tread has many small “cuts” called sipes that really help them get a grip on ice.

Now, all-season tires are a year-round compromise between high summer performance and high winter performance. They just don’t handle either extreme as well as do dedicated summer or winter tires for California driving. For example, winter tires offer 25 percent to 50 percent more traction than all-season tires. And studies have shown that all-season tires can take upwards of 40 percent longer to stop than winter tires. This could be enough difference to prevent getting stuck or in an accident.

So what’s best for you? You can ask your Protech Auto Service tire professional and the conditions in which you drive in California throughout the year and how important performance is to you. For many Tehachapi drivers that put a premium on handling performance, dedicated summer tires in summer and dedicated winter tires in the winter (for cold as well as ice and snow) are what they need to satisfy their performance needs. Protech Auto Service technicians will mount different tires depending on the season.

Your friendly and knowledgeable Protech Auto Service tire professional can help you get a great all-season tire if that is what best suits your needs. No matter which route you take, remember that quality tires are not immune to the laws of physics – so it’s important to drive safely in all Tehachapi road conditions.

Stop by Protech Auto Service at 410 W. J St., Ste. G in Tehachapi or give us a call at (661) 822-1100.