Will I need all season tires or winter tires? What about chains?

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I will be driving from the west coast to the east coast on December.
Since it is my first time on a long trip in the winter time, should I just drive with an ALL SEASON TIRE all the way passing through Illinois?

My other options are:

1)Purchase winter tires in cold states within
2)Drive with all season tires and put chains (But is it durable enough for a long drive?)
3) Drive with winter tires from the west coast to the east coast.

Are any of these a good option?

Thanks!!



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3 Responses to Will I need all season tires or winter tires? What about chains?

  1. A.J. says:

    “Purchase winter tires in cold states.”
    That might be a good option if you’re going to be on the East coast for awhile.

    “Drive with all season tires and put chains (But is it durable enough for a long drive?”
    Chains are not meant for long drives, only when there is ice or snow on the ground. Also, depending on what state you’re in, they may have different regulations about using chains (in NYC, only emergency, mass transit and NY Sanitation vehicles can have chains). If allowed, you’d have to put them on and take them off as necessary.

    “Drive with winter tires from the west coast to the east coast.”
    Snow tires are constructed with a softer compound than other tires, so you might wear them out pretty fast on regular pavement, or the other thing to consider is road noise. The knobbier tread pattern is prone to “tire hum” and might just drive you crazy on your trip.

  2. Stargazer says:

    Usually on a long trip like that….all season should be sufficient….the winter tires…though good…will ride a lot rougher than the all seasons.

    Chains are only good for short trips in a lot of snow at slow speeds so ..you wouldn’t gain much there.

    If you have a front wheel drive car…you can put winter tires on the front but…a lot of places won’t mount them on the front…you’d have to switch them yourself. Rear wheel drive…winter tires on the back are ok…but..will still ride rough.

    If you have a 4×4…then….all season is your best choice.

    good luck..safe travels,

  3. it depends. after the trip, will you still need winter tires where you live? if not, it might be worth buying winter tires just for this one trip, even if you buy used ones.

    btw tire chains are only good for short distances and slow speeds. you can’t use them on the highway.

    winter tires are best for winter, period. even if you have a 4×4, winter tires WILL do better than all season tires on snow and ice. winter tires don’t really have harsher rides, but they do have more road noise because they tend to have more aggressive treads.

    so if your going to need winter tires where you live anyways, i’d buy them. if you live in a warm climate where you don’t get snow, i would stick with all seasons.