winter tiresThere's a decent chance you drove the wrong tires last winter. But there's still time to install the right set this year.

The wrong tires?

Many Americans enter the winter months not realizing their tires aren't up to the task. And who can blame them? They're called "all-season" tires, right?

All-season tires aren't built to perform in snow, ice or temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Their compounds are crafted to provide durability and high performance in warmth and rain, but when temperatures drop, they harden and lose much of their grip.

So what should I drive?

If you travel to Arizona or South Florida or somewhere that is consistently warm in winter, all-season tires are fine. But if winter weather visits you - or if you often drive north or into the mountains - all-weather tires are an excellent year-round driving solution.

All-weather tires sound like all-season tires, but they have one major difference - they're certified with the three-peak mountain snowflake, an emblem that affirms they're suitable for winter driving. All-weather tires are versatile enough to thrive in rain and heat, but their flexible compounds are also well-suited for cold weather. And their tread patterns are often designed to carve through snow and slush, as is the case with the Nokian WR G4.

Why haven't I heard of all-weather tires?

This type of tire is relatively new: Nokian Tyres invented the first all-weather tire two decades ago. Also the inventor of the winter tire, Nokian Tyres continues to recommend winter tires for drivers who experience sustained wintry weather.

But around 2000, the company began to recognize that drivers in unpredictable climates were looking for a compromise solution to stay safe when sun turned to snow. Now, many tire dealers in moderate winter locales swear by all-weather tires to balance year-round convenience with winter safety.

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