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Buying winter tires, is it worth it?

File photo

File photo

SEATTLE —  Cool temperatures. Wet roads. We’re just into fall and already the Washington Department of Transportation is advising folks to prepare their cars for winter and snowy roads.

Drivers can start using studded tires November 1st, but do you really need studded or winter tires in western Washington or will standard all season tires do? Q13 asked the experts at PEMCO Insurance, are winter tires worth it?

"The all-season tire is like your tennis shoe, where the winter tire is like your boot," product manager, Craig Kehrberg said. "You can get around all season long with your tennis shoes, but when it really gets nasty out and there's deep snow and there's cold weather, you might want to put on your boots."

Kehrberg said, if the temperatures where you are stay above freezing, you can keep your all-season tires. Once the freezing weather hits you should invest in winter tires.

"The best time to put on your tires is Thanksgiving and the best time to take them off is Easter," Kehrberg said.

Winter tires have softer rubber, which is better for gripping the road when temperatures drop. Winter tires also have a deeper tread, which reduces snow build up and pushes away water to prevent hydroplaning.

Our expert said, no matter what tires you have, if we get significant snow and ice it's safer to keep the car parked at home.