All-Season vs. Snow Tires

It may be early October, but the time is growing near for you to decide your automotive tire plans for the winter of 2018-2019. Will you go with all-season tires or do you put snow tires on your vehicle? We like what this Popular Mechanics article has to say on the subject of using all-season tires vs. snow (cold weather) tires, so we decided to share.

Can All-Season Tires Really Handle The Snow?

By Ben Wojdyla  (

Back in 1977, Goodyear introduced the Tiempo, the first tire dubbed all-season. The idea was simple and alluring: Instead of dealing with the hassle of switching between snow and summer tires as the seasons change, drivers could use one tire all the time. Sales skyrocketed and other companies quickly followed suit. These days nearly all vehicles sold in the United States are fitted with all-season tires from the factory, and 97.5 percent of replacement-tire sales are the same. But is that such a good idea? Actually, no. It turns out that all-season tires are fine in warmer months, but in the snow, they lack traction compared with dedicated snow tires. And that means that the millions of drivers who make do with all-season tires in the winter months are driving cars that aren’t as safe as those shod with tires designed for icy conditions.

We know because we traveled to northern Minnesota, home of some of the nation’s harshest conditions, to test the claim of the all-season tire. And since all-wheel drive is rapidly becoming a common option, we also tested the notion that the feature is a suitable substitute for snow tires. Our assumption was that, while AWD improves some aspects of winter performance, it doesn’t help a car turn or stop, and the added weight of the mechanical bits can actually be a disadvantage. Common sense and physics suggested this to be true, but nothing proves a point like data. And the best way to gather data on winter-tire performance is to find yourself an icy, snowy proving ground.

Ice Driving

There’s something foreboding about traveling to a place so cold it’s called the Ice Box, but Baudette, Minn., was the perfect place to run our experiments. The sprawling Automotive Enviro Testing facility there specializes in frigid-weather testing for many large auto manufacturers. With a five-month winter season, the facility can maintain enormous snow and ice surfaces kept within strict tolerances by GPS-controlled tractors towing custom-built ice- and snow-grooming systems—basically the world’s largest Zambonis.

To set a level playing field, we brought along two nearly identical four-cylinder 2011 Chevy Equinoxes—one optioned with front-wheel drive, the other with AWD. We ran both through a series of tests to measure acceleration, braking, hill-climb and turning ability. The cars were first outfitted with Goodyear all-season tires, then we ran the tests again with Goodyear snow tires. We ran each test numerous times and then averaged the results. To minimize the variables, the same driver performed all the tests, and the traction- and stability-control systems were left on. Data collection was completed with the industry standard VBOX—a GPS and accelerometer-based data logger.

The Bottom Line

In a contest between all-season and winter tires driven on snow and ice, the latter won the day. Although the year-round rubber performed admirably, it’s clear in all situations that with either FWD or AWD there’s a substantial advantage to having proper rubber under you. The results were especially striking during braking and cornering, when snow tires improved performance by up to 5 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Buying and living with winter tires isn’t that much of an inconvenience, but there are some guidelines you should follow:

If you live anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line, it’s probably worthwhile to invest in winter tires.

Make sure you buy four tires; skimping and putting winter tires only on the drive end of the car will result in unpredictable handling and could be dangerous.

If you’d rather not remount your tires each season, pick up a separate set of inexpensive steel wheels for permanent winter-tire duty. (This also keeps expensive alloy wheels from getting damaged in harsh, salty winter conditions.)

Swap to winter tires around Thanksgiving and back to all-season or summer tires around Easter—winter tires’ softer rubber compounds wear quickly in warmer temperatures.

Store off-season tires in a cool, dry area out of the sun, and consider wrapping them in black plastic bags to reduce oxidation.

Keep in mind that having two sets of tires isn’t doubling the expense, it’s halving the wear. You’ll have twice the number of tires but buy new ones half as often.

Remember, fancy new tires or not, the standard winter driving advice still applies: Slow down, double your following distances, anticipate traffic changes ahead, and give yourself extra time to get where you’re going. Good luck out there!

Check out our showdown featuring all-season vs. winter tires.

So, we hope that this information on comparing the use of all-season tires vs. snow (cold weather) tires is helpful. If you have any questions regarding the best tires for your vehicle, we urge you to contact a member of our parts teams. Our assistant service managers are also knowledgeable advisors regarding any tire concerns you may have.

You can contact them at the links below:

  • Central Maine Motors Chevy Buick –


  • Central Maine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat –

    Service Department

  • Central Maine Toyota –


Let us introduce to you …The All-New 2019 Ram 1500

The next-generation Ram 1500 truck has arrived.

And it’s ready to not only carry any load you need, but also arrives with loads of standard features depending on which of six dynamic trim levels you choose.  An amazing level of luxury greets you when you settle inside. You’ll find yourself surrounded by cutting-edge technology. With the keyless remote fob tucked into your pocket, just push the start button on the instrument panel.

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel and Ram 1500 Limited

The available 5.7-Liter V8 HEMI® engine issues a low rumble.  Matched to a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission, the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 features improved power performance, improved efficiency, and enhanced capability. Another engine option is the 3.6L Pentastar® V6 which will also be available with an eTorque mild hybrid system.

Over 90% of the frame and more than 50 percent of body components are constructed of advanced high-strength steels. This why the engineers of the new Ram 1500 were able to bring it in at 225 pounds lighter, while also handing us the strongest Ram 1500 yet.

Got work?

The All-New 2019 Ram 1500 is like a work horse trained to pull. The horse thrills to pull in the harness. The Ram 1500 is built to help you with your work and you’ll thrill at the ease it gets the job done. The towing & hauling capacity has been dramatically improved for 2019. With max towing capacity of 12,750 pounds, you’ll notice the 20% increase in towing power. A more than 20% increase leads to maximum payload rating of 2,300 pounds.

All this “muscle” means that the new 2019 Ram 1500 is ready to work. Do you need a truck to take care of the heavy lifting of lumber or mulch for backyard projects, or firewood for the fire pit? Or do you need a work partner to carry your crew, tools & materials to the jobsite? Whether it’s work-related or you’re carrying the family & towing the boat to camp for the weekend, the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 will get you to where you’re going more efficiently and without compromise. You’ll be hauling more, with fewer trips.

Abundant Technology

Today’s modern crew leader or family members require a certain level of technology on-board their vehicle. The 2019 Ram 1500 redefines technology in a pickup truck, and leaps forward to a new standard in what you can expect.  State-of-the-art tech features surround;

  • Available 12-inch Uconnect® touchscreen, capable of a split-screen view and featuring tailor-made graphics.
  • Kick out the jams – 900-watt, 19-speaker Harman Kardon® audio system
  • Active noise cancellation and acoustic glass reduce ambient noise, contributing to an exceptionally quiet interior environment.
  • Take a look around – 360-degree Surround View Camera
  • Highway confidence – Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop, Hold and Go
  • No surprises – Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Look out ahead – Forward Collision Warning Plus
  • Don’t drift away – LaneSense® Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist
2019 Ram 1500 Limited

Combine all this and the All-New 2019 Ram 1500 arrives in your driveway as the most technologically advanced Ram Truck … ever.

The All-New 2019 Ram 1500 was engineered to be tough

It’s built tough, and looks tough whether on the worksite, off the highway, on the street in town. Innovative design features that stand out include:

  • Leading off – The “R-A-M” lettering on the grille sets a look for the rest of the truck to follow
  • Light up the night – an LED Adaptive Front Lighting System is available
  • And the main reason you probably want a truck … handling cargo. The 2019 Ram 1500 has the best-in-class standard pickup bed volume of 53.7 cubic feet.
  • Combine that that the available RamBox® Cargo Management System and you’re never at a loss for having a space to store something
  • Handling & ride upgrades include class-exclusive multi-link coil suspension and class-exclusive available Active-Level™ four-corner air suspension systems.


Luxury, Comfort & Style

That’s what the complete interior redesign was aiming for.

  • Authentic premium materials surround
  • Appealing colors and textures abound.
  • Available hand-wrapped leather trim will amaze.
  • Stretch out with increased cab size and best-in-class crew cab rear-seat leg room.

From top to bottom, from front to rear, the folks at Ram have made a remarkable truck that will achieve great remarks from all who see, drive & own an all-new 2019 Ram 1500. (check out our recent At A Glance video below for the 2019 Ram 1500 Truck)

So You’re Thinking About Buying a Car … These tips will help you make your decision.

Purchasing a car, truck or SUV can be a stressful decision process. But if you come prepared you can reduce the stress. The car buying experience has significantly changed over the last years with the ease of using the internet to not only research but actually choose the vehicle you want to buy. Except for the actual test drive and signing on the bottom line, much of the process can happen before you even step into our showroom. Whether using a desktop or laptop computer, a tablet or their smart phone, many customers arrive on our lot with the model, color, year & even the stock number of the car they want already in hand.

Once you’re here, our sales teams here at Central Maine Motors Auto Group are prepared to assist you and make your car purchase a pleasant experience.

Whether you start on our website or start by walking our sales lot, you’ll have a number of questions that you’ll want to ask yourself before starting your search for a car, truck or SUV.

What brand do I want?

Answer: Car shoppers generally fit into one of two categories: Brand “fans” may years later be still driving the same brand that was their first car. They know the brand and trust the product.  Other buyers aren’t committed to a brand but just want a great deal regardless of the logo on the trunk lid or tailgate. Whichever type of buyer you are, our sales teams understand and are ready to help guide you through your search. We also understand that online research, a hands-on walk around, and a final test-drive are all crucial steps in selecting the right vehicle. You’re going to be sitting in the driver’s seat of this vehicle for hopefully many years & miles. We want you to be sure that this is the right choice.

New or Used?

Answer: It comes down to your preference and your budget. New cars are exactly that, “brand new”. They carry the latest and greatest features for performance, also passenger comfort and safety. But brand new & shiny comes in at a higher price point.

When properly serviced and maintained, used cars offer a more practical alternative.  Our used vehicles must pass a substantial checkpoint list that reviews mechanical, cosmetic, & safety factors throughout the vehicle.

Whichever you choose, we always carry an extensive selection of quality new and used cars, trucks & SUV’s on our sales lots.

Is a certified pre-owned (CPO) car worth it?

Answer: In short, the answer is yes. If you’re committed to buy a brand new car, then go for it. A certified pre-owned is a like-new car with a lesser price tag. Driving home a CPO vehicle is something you should give some serious thought. These cars are thoroughly inspected, and many still carry a manufacturer’s warranty. Ask us about our broad inventory of certified pre-owned vehicles when you come in or start your search online at our websites.

Which is Better? Buying or leasing?

Answer: It isn’t a matter of which is better, but rather which is more appropriate for you. Buying and leasing both have benefits to be considered. If equity in your purchase is a must-have for you, then buying is the way to go. But if you’re after lower average monthly payments, leasing might be the route to take. Be aware, that most if not all lease plans have mileage restrictions over the term of the lease. If you go over the mileage limit of the lease, there can be a per mile over the limit fee added as cost to you when you turn in your lease.

Economical or luxury?

Answer: This will most likely come down to your budget. While many cars are designed to provide superior fuel efficiency, you might often have to balance that out with a lesser level of creature comforts. On one hand, many outstanding safety features can now be found even on the base models. But undoubtedly, a greater level of safety features will be available in the more luxurious models. Features such as heated steering wheels and seats, leather seating and other lavish comfort features including technology and audio are expected on today’s luxury cars.  If you want & deserve the best, our finance team will work with our list of more than 30 financial institutions to find you the best deal.

Why Central Maine Motors Auto Group?

Because we’re here for you.

At Central Maine Motors Auto Group, we want to be known as the first choice for all your automotive needs.  If you’re shopping for your next new car, or a pre-owned vehicle, we’re here for you. Need service maintenance or parts & accessories to personalize your ride? Our service & parts teams are here for you.

If you’ve had a major fender bender and require collision repair, we’re here for you.  Maybe you just want simple paint-less dent removal, we’re here for you.  Has winter’s harsh ice, snow, road sand & salt been tough on your vehicle? The team at our detailing and reconditioning center is here for you. They’ll return your ride to a sparkling showroom shine.

Regardless of your automotive needs, all of us here at Central Maine Motors Auto Group are here for you!

American Graduate Champion – Central Maine Motors Auto Group

For several years now, Central Maine Motors Auto Group has had a unique partnership with the Mid-Maine Technical Center at Waterville Senior High School. The ambition is to find student interns who are interested in careers in an automotive industry. The students work at Central Maine Motors Auto Group locations part-time after school, and when possible, full-time during summers and school vacation breaks. In addition to our video interns, other students gain experience in automotive service and repair, our reconditioning & detailing shop, our collision repair shop and in video production.

The video interns we hire are rising seniors studying mass media and they work here from one summer to the next summer until they are ready to leave for college or other post high school plans. They’re part of our marketing team and produce videos for our four YouTube channels and special videos for company events, retiring employees or to capture our company involvement in community projects.

On and off through most of this summer we have been working on a special video project with Maine Public Television. Dave Boardman is a Mass Media instructor at Mid-Maine Tech Center. He is also Education Coordinator for the Maine Education Project at Maine Public. Dave recommends certain of his tech center students for us to interview. His students are then the video interns that we have hired over the past few years.

Earlier this summer we were approached by regarding a special video project in conjunction with Maine Public television and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) via WNET in NYC, NY. The American Graduate Day broadcast celebrates “Champions” who support community-based solutions to help keep youth on the track to a high school diploma and beyond.

Dave asked if we’d be interested in creating an “American Graduate Champion” video. He felt strongly that Chris Gaunce and Central Maine Motors Auto Group were worthy of the “Champion” mantle. We just needed to tell the story and capture it on video. Dave had the confidence that his two students / our interns had the skills to make a great video. His feedback and their skills confirmed that to be a fact. We worked the entire project in-house starting with creating the “story” we wanted to tell. The two interns, Brayden Paine and Sydney Orcutt had the hands-on work, from behind-the-camera time, to calming interviewees, to the finely tuned editing required to craft the finished 90 second video.

Early in September, we received word that our video had made the first round of review. This meant that the video has been recently airing on Maine Public television during prime-time programming. Now in late September, we have just received the exciting news that our project has been selected for the national “American Graduate Day’ broadcast.  This will be on Saturday October 14, starting at 2pm and running through 6pm.

Company vice president Chris Gaunce can now proudly wear the title of “American Graduate Champion

A huge “thank you” goes to Brayden (now at Southern Maine Community College) & Sydney ( Messalonskee High School) for their excellent work and commitment to the project. This is an amazing entry for their resume as high school senior & college freshman.  Huge thanks to all who also appear in the video, specifically Auto Group employees (and former student interns) Hannah Whitaker & Tyler Pooler for sharing their stories.

Central Maine Motors Auto Group values our longstanding relationship with the instructors and administrators at Mid-Maine Technical Center. Together we are teaching and mentoring students who will go (and have already gone) onto their careers. They are using the skills taught to them at the MMTC and honed here in a real day-to-day business setting experience at CMMAG.

Recalculate- Follow a New Direction in an All-New 2017 Jeep Compass.

Staff and customers of Central Maine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat have been raving about the changes that Jeep has made to the Compass model. It has been recently released mid-year and is tagged as the 2017 New Compass. The redesigned model has body lines & features that reflect the influence of the brand flagship, the Grand Cherokee. With a more rigged yet aerodynamic stance and flared fender lines, the New Compass casts a new light on the mid-size 4X4 crossover market.
This new Compass is available in four model levels, Sport, Latitude, Trailhawk, & Limited, with each having areas of focus that appeal to the individual drivers interest & needs. The power train’s vary slightly across model levels but are basically the 2.4L MultiAir in-line 4cyl. engine with the standard 6-speed manual on the Sport model vs. the 9-speed automatic standard on the Latitude, Trailhawk & Limited.

All-new 2017 Jeep® Compass Limited and 2017 Jeep® Compass Trailhawk

The available Jeep Active Drive 4X4 system & the Active Drive Low 4X4 (Trailhawk only) system means you can be equipped to head off road at a moment’s notice. Running into snow, sand or mud in your travels is no problem given the inclusion of the Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system. It’s just a simple twist of a knob to choose Auto, Snow, Mud/Sand, or sport modes. The steering, suspension and stability systems on the New Compass help to deliver an impressive and smooth ride for the driver & all passengers.
The 2017 New Compass does not hide all its’ amenities underneath the hood or under the vehicle. The interior has well designed technology for driver & passengers including features for comfort, safety and connectivity. Standard six speaker or optional nine speaker audio will soothe you after a hard day’s work or rock your weekend when fitted with the optional 12-channel amp & booming subwoofer.
Feel the wind as the dual-panel panoramic roof brings in the sun by day or lets you bask in the moon’s glow at night. All this as you ride comfortably on premium cloth or luxurious leather seating throughout. Cargo capacity ranges from 27 cu. ft. behind second row seating to nearly 60 cu. ft. of space with second row folded.

Heading out on a family road trip? Standard backup camera, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and forward collision warning with active braking help make the New Compass a bubble of safety.
The safety, comfort, technology, and efficiency of the 2017 New Compass from Jeep may lead you to the decision that it’s the perfect fit for you and your family. The confident stance, the bold design lines, the assurance of the 4X4 systems will set a bar that all your neighbors will then have to reach high to match.