I think this is a very good question. It is true that snow tires or winter tires make a noticeable noise when compared to summer or all-season tires. Several factors contribute to this. Every step of production in the production of a production part for your car involves several compromises made to ensure that the part meets its intended purpose. Manufacturers of tires make decisions based on a variety of factors, including ride quality, grip, handling, noise, longevity, puncture resistance, and many others. Tire manufacturers will heavily rely on the tire’s ability to grip the road at low temperatures when designing a winter tire.
The three main components of your tires are responsible for road noise. There are three types of treads on tires: the treads themselves, the empty space between treads, and the rubber that makes up the treads. Winter tires each have different compromises that have a different effect on road noise:
- As you drive, snow and ice will be displaced by the tread spacing on winter tires. Even at highway speeds, you can hear the compressed air when the roads are clear. Winter tires are often louder than summer tires, and only the most expensive ones have grooves specifically designed to prevent air compression and scramble the sound waves it creates when it does.
- Tire tread design: The design of winter tires contributes to their huskier appearance. The tread designs used by winter tire manufacturers include asymmetrical and arrowhead shapes, as well as v-shaped and staggered shoulders. In order to control slush and snow, each tire is designed to give you more traction while braking and cornering. Although traction increases, road noise increases as well.
- Winter tires have softer rubber than summer tires, so they remain sticky and pliable even at temperatures below freezing. The flexible winter tires on your car grip snow like the soles of a winter boot, unlike a hard hockey puck that slides over ice. As well as silica, which is like sand, they contain silica, which gives the rubber a biting edge on slippery snow. Although the composition results in less road noise, it helps with winter driving conditions.
The noise will be present from day one if you buy tires with aggressive tread patterns, winter/snow tires, or low-profile tires. On the other hand, if you did not buy new tires, they may still be noisy when you put them on. It has to do with the fact that this is their first time using the vehicle and so they need time to get accustomed to it.