Can only have one set of tires - use all seasons or winter tires year round?

I have always owned a dedicated set of winter tires for each car, and swapped them each fall and spring. My son lives in a small apartment, and has no place to store an extra set. A storage unit costs $500 per year. So he has to use the same set of tires year round. Is he better off using all season tires or winter tires? And please dont say “keep two sets.” I know that’s the best, but it is not an option.

Car: 2003 Volkswagen Jetta
Location: Central Pennsylvania
WInter tires: Continental ExtremeWinterContact
All Season Tires: Continental PureContact with Ecoplus

I’d use all-season tires with good survey results for winter performance on Tire Rack’s web site, which these tires seem to have. Winter tires are designed for low temperatures, so they’ll wear out quickly in summer.

I his situation I’d get all season tires with the highest snow/ice ratings I could find. According to Consumer Reports, the “Continental ProContact with Ecoplus” is their second-highest rated all season tire, and is ‘better than average’ in snow traction (no all season is higher) and ‘average’ in ice traction (ditto). You meant ‘ProContact’, right?

No, they are the PureContact, I double checked.

OK, found them on Tirerack, they’re higher-rated that the Procontact in snow/ice and have good overall ratings, so they sound good to me.

In Minnesota and South Dakota, all I have ever used is all season. Usually Goodyear. Some tire shops though will store the tires for you during the off season if you buy them there.

I have 4 fairly new PureContact with EcoPlus tires on my Accord. They work quite well on wet roads. I haven’t had them on snow or ice yet, but they rate well.

A friend of mine wanted to be able to use one set of tires for all seasons, so in order for him to have decent winter traction I recommended Goodyear Fortera Triple-Treds for his vehicle. They did have decent winter traction for the first 20k miles or so, but the winter traction dropped-off rapidly thereafter.

The biggest problem was that the tread became incredibly LOUD after about 20k miles. The result was that he swapped for Michelin Defenders even though there was a good amount of tread remaining on the Triple-Treds. He just couldn’t take the howling of those treads anymore.

All season, especially in Pennsylvania. They don’t often get horrible winter weather down there.

Well, it depends where you are. Erie gets lake effect snows, and the mountains can get a lot of snow and ice. Maybe not up to your NH standards, but Northwest PA gets a whole lot.

Edit: I looked back and saw Central PA. If that’s the York area, it’s not much different than Baltimore. But north of Harrisburg and State College can get a lot of snow.

I have Goodyear Assurance Mileage plus tires on my car, and they have proven to be excellent tires in deep snow, and on icy conditions. It sounds like the tires you are considering will probably perform just as well. There’s no need for him to have two sets. Go with the all seasons. He shouldn’t have any problems.

I vote for both sets, let him store the off season tires at your place. Then you can be sure he will come and visit you at least twice a year.

True, jt. I wrote too quickly.

Another vote for a good set of all season tires.
You can look at the reviews on TireRack to see which all season tires provided better snow handling.

“You can look at the reviews on TireRack to see which all season tires provided better snow handling.”

Because there is no standard whatsoever for what constitutes an “all-season” tire, some are quite decent in snow, and others are essentially useless in winter conditions. Seeing ratings and reviews on a site such as Tire Rack is essential if the OP is going to avoid being stuck with one of the essentially useless tire models.

I can tell you from experience that Bridgestone’s Potenza RE-92 and RE-92a fall into the “essentially useless” category, but there are undoubtedly others like that, so the OP needs to see objective opinions on various all-season tire models in order to be able to choose wisely.

Hey, answering too quickly is my job, Mountainbike.

My wife and I always use “all-season” tires except for the years we spent in Alaska and Northern Maine. Never had a problem getting around in the ice and snow. We always buy Michelin tires when we can.

I bought a house brand from WM, Douglas XTRA TRAC II. The tire label says: “Great wet and snow traction”. The tires now have a few thousand miles. About a week ago we were driving at night in a fairly blinding rainstorm in the left lane, passing slower drivers when someone in the right lane suddenly switched to the left lane and I had to panic brake heavily. Our car had no antilock brakes but the tires did not slip. I expected them to slip but they did not. After that I was relieved that we did not crash and was very pleased with the tires; didn’t expect that they would be that good.

The tread design has a lot of space between the tread blocks which looks much like a snow tire so I anticipate that they will work well this winter in snow too as the label claims.

When looking at reviews on the web, make sure that you are reviewing the II version.

I bought them because they were cheap, about 50 bucks per tire. The warranty is for only 45k miles but I will buy them again. Made in USA too.

I needed tires for my Riviera and I wasn’t planning on keeping it all that long again and I needed white walls so my options were limited. The Goodyear dealer sold me some no names. Maybe they were Chinese but I was never able to track down where they were made. At any rate they were some of the best tires I ever had, and they were reasonably cheap. They were quiet with good wet and even snow traction. I never would have bought them from Walmart or the farm store but Goodyear has generally provided good advice and options for other tire brands.

Use all-season tires. Unless you live in a place where it snows more than not, winter tires will quickly wear out on dry pavement–you will get a very short service life from them if they are on your car year round. You will also likely get worse mileage from them due to the tread design/rolling resistance.