Two or Four, How Many Winter Tires Do I Need?

As temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time for many of us to make the switch to winter tires. But how many tires do you really need to swap out? Is it okay to just switch out the rears? Or do you really need to swap out all four? The answer is, four. Here’s why.


With technologies like Continental’s PolarPlus+ Technology, tread stays pliable in sub-zero temperatures and enhances grip in slippery conditions like wet, snow and ice covered roads. This makes today’s winter tires aces compared to the winter tires you may be familiar with. When you switch only two tires, your vehicle has a split personality. Meaning, one end of your vehicle reacts and performs in a different way than the other end in dry, wet, slush, snow, and ice conditions. This makes for some dicey scenarios. In emergency situations, your vehicle may understeer or oversteer depending on the condition, which is less than comfortable. Also, to achieve the full benefits of ABS or traction control systems, it’s imperative to keep the same level of traction on all four corners of the car.


Consistency is key so it’s preferable to match all four tires for winter conditions with a tire like the WinterContact SI. Whether you have a rear wheel, front wheel, or four wheel drive vehicle, four winter tires is recommended. The extra investment in four tires will give you confidence when accelerating and braking. Additionally, you will be able to maintain the most balanced and controlled handling possible no matter what Old Man Winter throws at you.


Visit your local Continental dealer for more details.


Need to store your summer tires? You may be interested in these 7 Tips For Storing Tires.