The weather here is getting bad. We had the first nasty storm of the season on wednesday, and thursday night. A lot of snow, ice and rain. Not a good combination if your tires are bald. I have been putting off buying new tires for my wifes' car, I just can't wait any longer as it getting too dangerous. The front tires on her car are really bald.
My wife leased the car in 2004. She was just starting out in her career, and the only way we could get a car that we could afford was to lease (lease rate of 0.9%). Leasing doesn't make a lot of sense, as you are only renting the car for 4 years, but it was the best we could do at the time. Now the lease is up in less than a year and we need to start thinking about what we want to do next. We may buy it out, but we are not sure.
So, the dilemma was this. Do I buy snow tires for the car (four tires, a lot safer in winter, but very expensive) or do I buy two new all season tires, still safe because of the new tread, but considerably less expensive (only have to buy two fronts, as the back tires are fine).
As the car is leased I chose the second option. I bought two new tires for the car, totalling $394.00. It was $322.00 for the tires, and almost $60.00 extra because I had to replace one of the front rims due to damage (my wife hit a curb).
In Canada the winter season is cold, snowy and wet. Snow tires are the better option in the winter. All season tires are not all season with respect to Canadian winters. They are acceptable, but not ideal. The rubber in winter tires is designed to grip in wet conditions, and cold temperatures, all season tires do not have the same rubber compounds. I have never had winter tires. I am not sure what I am missing, but the few friends that do have winter tires say you can drive the same as you would in the summer during a blizzard. Not so sure that would be safer, and definately not enough of an endorsement to make me want to spend $1000.00.