Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Donated Snow Tires?

My 97 Jeep Cherokee 4WD needs new tires and a friend donated a set of brand new tires that are “snow tires”. He said that they would work fine, but that they would wear more quickly than regular street tires. What is the difference between snow tires and regular tires and can I use them on my Jeep

Snow tires generally have a more aggresive, deeper tread design for traction in snow. They will wear more quickly when driven on dry pavement. Yes, they can be used on the Jeep.

If the date of manufacture code indicates that they’re not too old and the size, load ratings, and sepeed ratings meet your Jeep’s minimum requirements, you can use them without concern.

all have good sites to tell you how to read and interpret this information.

Yes. You can run snow tires on your Jeep. I run snow tires on my truck all year long. Not are they good in snow, but they’re also good in mud. And some of the places I have to get to with the truck gets pretty muddy.



Winter tires are designed to run at lower temperatures. If you are experiencing high temperatures, then you run the risk of overheating the tires, which might result in a catastrophic tire failure - very bad!

I would recommend against making this change.

Snow tires wear more quickly in warm weather due to rubber compound is optimized for cold weather. In cold temperatures(<45F) the wear rate is same as all-seasons.

The speed rating is usually reduced on winter tires. However a Cherokee would be a mute point unless you are in Europe or part of world with higher speed limits than US.

If you run really hot temperatures on frequent basis snow tires get squirmy in handling and also are more prone to failure under stress.

If snow tires blew in hot weather, the highways and byways in Minnesota would be littered with tire carcases and disabled vehicles up and down the road. Most people in Minnesota run snow tires all year long as a normal practice. Snow tire failure in hot weather just doesn’t happen.


At what point is the risk of a tire failure too high? Some people seem to think that the Ford/Firestone situation a few years back was a gage. In that case, the best information I have is that the Firestone tires failed at a rate of ~0.25% That was one out of 400. Doesn’t sound very high does it? This is a country wide number.

Plus we don’t know where the OP lives. So if we are giving advice and we don’t know where the OP lives, we should be conservative. I would hate it if even a single person was injured because of the advice we gave.

And lastly: I’m sorry to tell you that there have been winter tire failures in hot weather.

I’ve lived in either Minnesota, Michigan, or Wisconsin all my life. And it’s normal to install snow tires and run them all the time. Why? Because we can get snow in a moments notice, and lots of it.

I’ve made trips from Minnesota to New Mexico in the summer with snow tires on my vehicle, and spent as long as two weeks there before returning. No tire failure. I have a friend who’s leaving Brainerd Minnesota going to Texas with his F250 with a trailer on the back hauling his 1953 F100 back. And his truck has snow tires! And he’s made this trip back and forth many times. Never a tire failure!

And let me ask you this? What if you want to take a trip out of Minnesota in the winter with snow tires to Florida for a vacation out of the cold. Do you stop half way to Florida and install all season tires? And then on the way back reinstall the snow tires? I don’t think so.



We all respect your expertise and experience. However, this happens to be my area of expertise.

It’s logical that if winter tires run hotter, then there is an increased risk of tire failure - and that is what is being expressed. It isn’t like the tire instantly fails when it encounters hot temperatures - it’s more of a time related thing.

You can find plenty of anecdotes of people who do crazy things and suffer no ill effects. Remember the guy with inoperable front brakes? What I am saying is some caution should be applied to this situation. I am NOT warning of immediate disaster. However, tire failures can result in serious injuries and reducing the risk is always a good idea.