If you live in a region with cold winter temperatures, you may be wondering: Can I put two winter tires on instead of four? You can, but the result will be diminished traction, braking power, and cornering advantage. To use two winter tires, you need to mount them on the rear axle. If you install snow tires on the front wheels, you risk reducing rear tire traction, which can lead to a rear-wheel skid.
To determine if your tires are ready for winter weather, take your car to a local tire dealer. They should be able to tell you what type of winter tires are best for your vehicle, climate, and driving habits. Make sure that you purchase a new winter tire or at least two used tires. Before purchasing, check to see if your wheels have a tire pressure monitoring system. Getting two used winter tires is cheaper than buying brand-new ones.
For snow-shoeing, it is best to use winter tires with tread depths of at least 6/32″. The legal minimum is 2/32″. This is too low for snow-shoes, and it is illegal to drive at 70 mph with two front tires on. This is not safe and might result in a skid on the road. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. In general, winter tires are better for winter driving than summer-shod tires.