What’s The Difference Between Winter Tyres And All-Season Tyres?

Published On 13-Sep-2022By TyreDekho Team

As evident by their names, winter tyres are designed for use in cold climatic conditions, while the all-season ones offer equal prowess in both moderate hot and moderate cold conditions. 

  • Winter tyres and All-season tyres are developed differently to suit the extreme conditions.
  • All-season tyres use amalgamation of hard and soft rubber compound.
  • Winter-specific tyres are infused with soft rubber compound to grip maximum contact area.
  • Depending upon the application, climatic situations and road conditions one can choose among the two.
  • The all-season tyres can be enjoyed round the year and can withstand any weather conditions, while winter tyres are restricted for cold climate usage only.   

Winter Tyres For Indian Roads

While buying a new car tyre, most of us only consider the wheel size and recommended tyre size by the carmaker. However, there’s another aspect you should consider while purchasing new rubbers for your car i.e. the difference between a winter tyre and an all-season tyre. Both these types of tyres have their benefits, which should be considered for an optimal driving and ownership experience. 

Here, we have analyzed the difference between a winter tyre and an all-season tyre, which will help you decide which one you should invest in.

Difference Between Winter Tyres & All-Season Tyres

The core difference between winter tyres and all-season tyres depends on various factors. During winters, the temperature conditions are not favourable in gaining a desirable amount of grip from a regular tyre due to its harder compound.

A winter tyre is specifically developed using a soft compound, which is why it can handle colder temperatures and snow-covered surfaces. Furthermore, winter tyre features fine grooves in their tread pattern, which is why they can drive over snow-covered surfaces and find grip easier.

On the contrary, an all-season tyre is a balance between a summer tyre made of a hard compound and a winter tyre. Such a tyre is made of a compound suitable for both hot and cold temperatures while having grooves similar to those of a winter tyre.

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Advantages Of An All-Season Tyre

Talk of performing equally well in all the conditions, an all-season tyre comes across as the best bet. In the Indian context, the varying geographical and climatic conditions across borders favour the use of all-season tyres. In addition to areas with colder temperatures, an all-season tyre is also usable much in warmer ones, thus making it a more versatile tyre.

Using an all-season tyre also eliminates the need to switch to different tyres suiting different conditions, thus reducing the tyre replacement costs. In addition, an all-season tyre also offers a shorter braking distance compared to a winter tyre, thus making the former a better option, especially over wet surfaces. However, when it comes to extreme winter conditions or over snow-covered surfaces, a winter tyre offers better traction and braking distance than an all-season tyre.  

Related : Tyre Tips - How To Drive In Snow Safely

Advantages Of A Winter Tyre

As the name suggests, a winter tyre is specifically designed and engineered to keep optimal performance in colder temperatures and snow-covered surfaces in prime consideration. If you live in areas facing an extreme drop in temperatures or witnessing snowfalls, using a winter tyre becomes a more sensible decision.

The soft compound and unique grooves of a winter tyre help in getting better traction on snow, which is not possible in an all-season tyre. In temperatures below -7 degrees Celcius, winter tyres are more effective as they heat up sooner due to their softer compound, thus allowing them to gain grip faster.  

Which One To Go For Among The Two?

Selecting between an all-season tyre and a winter tyre depends on a few pre-requisites, which are as follows:

  • Location – In the Indian context, using a winter tyre in the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and in the north-eastern states of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, is a more sensible choice. These states witness constant drops in temperatures and frequent snowfalls in the winter season. In other states, which are either tropical or have moderate climatic conditions, an all-season tyre is a safer and more economical choice.
  • Weather – The aspect of the weather depends a lot on the location. In the north and north-eastern states mentioned above, using a winter tyre is preferable. However, there are chances that other states might witness a significant drop in temperatures, something which we have seen in areas like Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi. In such areas where temperatures drop drastically, using a winter tyre can yield better results.
  • Mileage – Choosing between a winter tyre and an all-season tyre also depends on how extensively you drive your vehicle. If you are someone who does not drive too often and are living in a not-so-extreme place in terms of climate, always go for an all-season tyre. Choosing an all-season tyre avoids the unnecessary costs and hassles involved in frequent tyre replacements.  

In summary, you can keep these pointers in mind while choosing between a winter tyre and an all-season tyre:

  • While an all-season tyre can be used throughout the year, winter tyres are meant to be used specifically in winter.
  • While a winter tyre is designed for colder temperatures and surfaces, an all-season tyre is designed to keep mild temperature ranges in both summer and winter.
  • Using an all-season tyre for a long will save you tyre replacement costs, which can be frequent for winter tyres.

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