When Iowa sees weather like it did yesterday (January 9), the safest thing you can do is to just stay home. If you don't have to be out on the roads and driving in blizzard conditions, don't. Either wait until the weather clears and the roads have been plowed or put off your errands until the next day. If you can work from home, work from home. Other than an emergency or traveling to work and back, it's simply smarter to stay home.

If you have a job where regardless of weather, you need to be at your workplace, you have maybe considered putting winter tires on your car during Iowa's winters. They can be a pretty big investment and you might wonder if they're worth it. Do they help that much more than your all-season tires?

Unsplash - Timothy Eberly
Unsplash - Timothy Eberly

Are Winter Tires Worth It

According to CJ Pony Parts, "Almost all cars in the U.S. come with all-season tires from the factory, and the replacement tires are the same 97.5% of the time." Unless you've already purchased winter tires, your car currently uses all-season tires. If you're looking to get winter tires, the first question is are they worth it, and the second question is how much are they going to cost?

Simply put, yes. Winter tires are worth it if you can afford them. According to AAA,

In climates where they make sense, winter tires are a sound investment as part of your auto care regimen. Besides reducing your chances of collisions and the need for auto body repair, they improve the quality of driving during colder months.

This video explains why winter tires operate more efficiently during the winter months. Winter tires have a softer rubber compound that helps you stop a lot faster and accelerate a lot smoother. When temperatures start to dip below 45 degrees, it's safe to switch to your winter tires.

While these tires can greatly improve driving in the winter, there are a few drawbacks. You'll need to store your all-season or summer tires, you'll have to get your winter tires switched out, and they can be expensive.


While winter tires can help improve your experience while driving in the winter, that experience is expensive. According to Kelley Blue Book, a set of 4 winter tires from a major manufacturer will cost somewhere between $800-1,000. Kelley also says "Don't waste your money on unfamiliar brand names that may woo buyers with a low price."

Once temperatures start to rise above 45 degrees, you then have to change out of your winter tires, which could be an additional cost, and store them. If you have a location to store them, great news. If you don't, storing them could be another additional cost.

There are some auto body shops and tire manufacturers that will store and change your tires for free or at a discount if you purchase tires from their location. That's something you will have to discuss when purchasing.

If You Can Afford Them, Buy Them

If you're in a place financially where you can afford winter tires, then buy them. They can greatly improve traction and stopping ability in the winter, which in the long run can save you money. Winter tires could help you stop faster in Iowa's colder months and help prevent you from getting into an accident that costs you more than $1,000.

If you can't afford them, you'll likely be okay not having them. It's all a matter of how you want to spend your money and if driving okay in the winter is fine with you. You spent/spend a lot on your car and continue you do so every year. It would be worth saving to get a 4-set of tires by next winter.

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