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Tires are the single most important safety feature on you car.
They are the only thing that connects the car to the road, and life-saving technologies like anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control cannot do their job if the tires don't have a good grip on the pavement.
If you live where it snows, buy a set of proper snow tires (also known as winter tires) and use them in the winter. All-season tires are designed to handle all weather conditions, but they aren't optimized for any particular one. Snow tires are designed for one thing and one thing only: Keeping your car going where you point it when temperatures are low and the roads are covered in snow and ice. By using snow tires in the winter, you can opt for a "summer" tire better suited to your tastes -- be that a quieter, more comfortable ride, better handling, improved rain performance or longer tread-life.
Rotating the tires every 5,000 to 7,000 miles will ensure that they wear at the same rate, allowing you to get the most return on your investment and ensure that all four tires will be ready for replacement at the same time.
NEVER replace a single tire -- if a tire is damaged and cannot be repaired, replace it as well as its mate on the other side of the car.