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When you knowledgeable car aficionados talk about winter tires, are you talking about tires that perform well in snow, or that perform well in cold weather?

We don't get much snow in my area, but it does get cold for a month or so of the year. And the roads are often wet, with a lot of rain that does freeze in the evening. So I've never thought I wanted or needed snow tires. I do have one car that I will not drive in cold weather, it has slid twice on icy snowless roads; I was lucky to get out of the 2nd lesson without damage.

But I am starting to wonder, is it the difference in the temperature rating that winter tires are manufactured for? And if so, will the Fisker winter tires perform well (safely is my measure) in warmer conditions? 50-60 degrees is normal for my area, but sometimes it gets colder for a few days.
 

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From what I've read / heard, the cold temperature alone is bad for the summer-tire rubber. I'm not really sure exactly what/how though.

For those who live in the SF Bay Area or Southern California or other "never very cold" areas, there's probably no need for winter tires. I was going to get winter wheels and tires for here (SLC) but never got around to it, and now I'm thinking of moving to the Bay Area next year anyway. So I'm still not sure if I'll get the winter wheels and tires.
 

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You'll be ok on the summer tires so long as it doesn't dip much below 50 on a regular basis and there's no threat of ice, freezing rain or snow.

Most summer tires turn into hockey pucks around 40 dF - they are a real hazard to be driving on if it will regularly be at 40 or below.

In SLC, you're very brave if you stay on your summers. At the very least throw some all season rubber on your rims.
 
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