Niagara Gazette — So four snow tires are best option for safe, sure-footed 4-wheel traction.
Once you have your snow tires, you’ll have to remember to take them off in the spring. Since snow tires are made of a softer rubber compound with a softer, more flexible tread design, driving them on warm, dry roadways will wear them out prematurely. The siping or semi-segmenting of each tread lug is usually at about a 50 percent depth (sometimes slightly more) of each tread lug. Driving them constantly on dry roads would wear out the tread lugs in a short time resulting in degradation of winter weather traction.
Finally, when selecting tires always make sure you buy the right load range tire for your vehicle and service description. If it’s a passenger car, then a passenger car service description tire is fine for your vehicle. If a light truck, now you need to check load ranges. I like to go overkill on this area of tire fitment. I take the gross vehicle weight number divide it by four and then go one load rage up from the divided number. This way I know I’m covered for any load I’m going to carry or haul.
A word of caution
A few years back there was a concern that some tire dealers were selling tires that have been in stock a long time and the rubber had dried out, making them unsafe to ride on. For peace of mind, ask your sales person to show you the date code on the tires. It is usually found on the sidewall close to the rim bead area. When tires sit for a long time in a dry, warm environment the oils in the rubber dry up. This causes a condition called “dry rot,” causing the rubber to crack, usually close to the rim bead area or in the sidewalls where there is more flexing. This condition compromises the structural integrity of the tire’s sidewall and makes it vulnerable to blowout.