Mud tires are great for getting you safely through muddy fields and roads. You might wonder if they can do just as well in other tricky conditions.
Are mud tires good in snow?
Mud tires are not supposed to be used in the snow. Snow will get packed in the deep grooves of mud tires, eventually filling them completely and greatly reducing the traction. When driving in snow, it is safer to use tires designed specifically for driving in snow or to add chains to tires.
There are some important things to know about using mud tires in the snow during the winter months, the design of snow and mud tires, and driving in snowy conditions.
Using Mud Tires in the Snow
Mud tires are specifically designed to get your car or truck through the mud. They have a particular tread pattern that allows the tires to grab onto the terrain.
There are also ejectors built into the tread voids (spaces in the outer layer of the tire) to keep mud and rocks from getting lodged in the treads.
Some mud tires have very large tread voids to allow this debris to escape easily. There are also sidewall lugs on the sides of the tires to increase the traction on the outside of the tire too. The depth of the treads is what makes them bad for snow.
The tires are not designed to drive through snow or other winter conditions. The ejectors in the tires do not work on snow. Instead, the snow is packed into the treads.
The snow will eventually fill the treads, making the tire essentially smooth. The tire will not be able to grab onto the layer of snow or ice beneath, and it will slip more easily.
If you want tires that will drive through both the snow and the mud, there are tires designed to go through both. Mud and snow tires, also called all-season tires, have an M+S imprinted on the side.
Mud and snow tires are not as effective at getting through extremely snowy conditions as winter tires are, nor are they as effective at getting through muddy conditions as mud tires are.
It’s best to just use mud and snow tires if you have to go from mud to snow or snow to mud frequently.
If you absolutely have to use your mud tires to drive in the snow, you can put chains on them. Chains are very effective when driving in difficult conditions. They increase the grip that the tires have on the road, improving your traction.
Driving on regular asphalt with tire chains is bad for them and will wear them down; they also reduce the traction of the tires on bare pavement.
You also can’t drive faster than 30 mph with tire chains or they will break. Make sure that you put the chains on correctly to fully utilize their effects and avoid damage to the chains or your tires.
Snow Vs Mud Tire Design
Snow tires and mud tires are meant for two completely different situations, so they are built differently.
Snow tires are tires that are specifically designed to be safely driven through the snow. Snow tires are made with a rubber compound that stays soft in low temperatures, while mud tires don’t have this feature.
Snow and mud tires also have very different treads that work better for either mud or snow. They also have a tread pattern that is made up of individual blocks.
These have more sharp edges to slice through the snow. They also channel away slush and water instead of sliding over the top of it.
Types of Tires
There are a lot of different types of tires for different situations. Each of these tires has a specific design to help your car get through these different situations in the easiest way possible.
In addition to all-season tires, snow tires, and mud tires, there are also touring tires, which are high-performance all-season tires; summer tires, which are designed for hot weather; and highway tires, which help create a smoothing ride for heavy vehicles at increased speeds.
Driving in Snow
Driving in snow can be dangerous, so it’s important to know some important snow driving safety practices. You need to be very cautious when driving in the snow.
First of all, be prepared to drive in the snow. Check the weather conditions before driving long distances so you know if the roads are going to get snowy or icy.
Go slower than you think you need to. If you go too fast in the snow, you have a higher chance of going into an uncontrolled skid.
You should reduce your speed by half. If the speed limit is 40 mph, you should go about 20 mph.
When driving in snowy and icy conditions, make sure to drive very smoothly. Don’t use any jerky movements that will unstick the grip of your tires on the road.
Turn the steering wheel smoothly and try to go slowly on turns.
Leave lots of space between you and the drivers around you. If one of you skids, the others will want to be able to react and avoid getting hit.
Make sure there is a lot of space in front of you especially. This will give you plenty of time to stop and react to the other car stopping.
Make sure to give yourself lots of time to stop. Braking quickly can cause you to go into a skid. If you skid, don’t slam the brakes and hold them, but instead pump the brakes until you come to a stop. If you have brakes with an anti-locking system, you need to press hard on the brakes, and the computer will do the rest for you.
Pay close attention to your surroundings.
Know where other cars are, where you need to stop, etc. You should always be aware of what is around you and the road while you are driving, but it is especially important to do this when driving in the snow.
When you’re driving, it’s best to use tires for their specified purpose.
Each tire is designed with that purpose in mind, and it will do the best job at keeping you and your car safe, on the road, and moving forward.