All Season Tires Vs Summer Tires

All Season Tires Vs Summer Tires

When debating between all-season tires vs summer tires, the differences between the two types can be easily misunderstood. Depending on your vehicle, driving conditions, and personal preferences, one may be a better option than the other. When choosing between summer and all-season tires, it helps to understand the benefits and limitations of each.

ALL-SEASON TIRES

An all-season tire offers a balance of capabilities, providing acceptable performance in wet and dry conditions, as well as traction in snow.

Built for the average driver, all-season tires have moderate tread depths and rubber compounds that are engineered to provide longer tread life than summer tires, which have shallower tread depths. All-season tires are offered in many types/models, sizes, load capacities, and speed ratings for use on a wide variety of vehicles from economy cars to sedans to mini-vans to pickup trucks. They tend to provide ride comfort, handling, and other performance attributes suitable for most drivers.

all-season tire features

All-season tires perform well in warm weather, but they may offer less grip than summer tires, sacrificing some steering, braking, and cornering capabilities. This trade-off is necessary for all-season tires to be able to provide acceptable performance in light winter conditions and provide longer tread life.

All-season tires are capable of providing traction in winter but are not the best tire to use in extreme winter driving conditions. Drivers who encounter extreme winter weather may want to consider switching to snow tires in the winter.

Because all-season tires offer a blend of summer and winter performance, they are often a good option for drivers in moderate climates and driving conditions.

SUMMER TIRES

Summer tires are ideal for high-performance vehicles and are built for speed and agility. They offer increased responsiveness, cornering, and braking capabilities. This is typically attributed to specialized tread patterns and rubber compounds that allow for improved precision on the road. The tread patterns of summer tires have less grooving and put more rubber in contact with the road. They are design­ed to provide maximum road-holding grip. The tread compounds of summer tires are designed to remain more flexible, allowing for better traction and grip. Summer tires may have shallower tread depths that allow for more stability when pushed closer to their limits.

summer tire features

Dimensional characteristics (such as the tire’s width, aspect ratio, and rim diameter), speed capability, and other design features make summer tires more suitable and capable for increased performance in wet and dry conditions on high-performance, sports-oriented vehicles. Surprising to some, summer tires such as our Potenza S-04 Pole Position provide better performance in wet driving conditions, thanks to unique tread patterns that help evacuate water and resist hydroplaning.

When it comes to winter driving, all-season tires may be more suitable, given their blend of summer and winter performance capabilities, but we recommend considering making the switch to winter tires to get optimal traction and performance in extreme winter conditions.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT TIRE

Choosing the right tire isn’t as simple as mounting a set and never looking back. When contemplating between summer and all-season tire, consider your driving conditions, the climate you live in, and performance needs.

It is best that all tires on your vehicle are the same type of tire – such as winter tires, all-season tires, etc. Your vehicle’s tires should meet the manufacturer’s recommended size, speed rating, load capacity, as well as any other recommended specifications.

All Season Tires Or Winter Tires?

It’s time to get some traction.

At any time now, snow could fall over a broad swath of America, and that means your tires need to be checked.

Experts say if the rubber is worn, you could slide, crash or get stuck, even in a light snowfall. Depending on where you live and how badly you need to get someplace in bad weather, you might want winter tires. All-season tires might be an option, but they won’t start and stop as well in ice and snow.

Experts say late October is a good time to shop for tires and get them installed so you’re ready. Here’s how to figure out whether you need new tires and tips from experts on what kind of rubber to buy:

Check the tread depth: Stick a quarter into the tire grooves at several spots with George Washington’s head upside down. If you can see the top of Washington’s hair, you have 4/32 of an inch of tread or less. That means it’s about time to replace your tires. You may have a little time left in warm, dry weather, but tires with less than 4/32 won’t grip well in ice and snow. People used to use a penny to check tread depth. But if the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head can be seen, that means you’ve only got 2/32 inches of tread left. “At that point, most tires are basically worn out and need to be replaced immediately,” says Gene Petersen, tire program manager for Consumer Reports, which does extensive tire testing.

Winter or all-season? It depends on where you live, how urgently you need to be somewhere in the snow, and whether your vehicle is 2-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. In an area with moderate snowfall, you probably can get by with all-season tires, especially if you can wait for plows to clear roads before going anywhere. Generally, But to the north, where heavy snowfall is more likely, winter tires will be better. If the engine powers all four of your wheels, good all-season tires may suffice. Generally, winter tires on a two-wheel-drive vehicle grip better than all-season tires on a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Experts say all-wheel-drive makes a big difference starting off in the snow. But it won’t help you stop in snow. That’s where winter tires come in. They’ll stop faster in slippery conditions because they grip ice and snow better due to specially designed soft tread compounds. In bad weather, winter tires grip almost like they’re being driven on dry roads.

Read the reviews: If you decide to go with all-season tires, make sure you read test reports and consumer ratings. All-season tires vary wildly in their ability to grip the snow, The gap from good to bad is staggering, you should stick to well-known brands for the best performance. If you choose winter tires, also read reviews. Tire Rack’s tests show less of variance between snow tires from different brands. Deeper grooves generally mean more snow traction, but you can’t always tell performance from looking at a tire. Although winter tires have improved, they still compromise dry-pavement handling for snow and ice performance.

Replace all four tires: Putting snow tires on just the two drive wheels can make your car difficult to handle in snow and ice. When two wheels on one axle grip better than the other two, it creates a handling imbalance that could be treacherous if you’re trying to stop quickly or steer around something. Those are the situations where you need your car to work best, an emergency situation..

The price: Snow and all-season tires generally cost about the same. Consumer Reports found that sedan tires average around $145 each. SUV tires average $178 apiece. Shopping around could get you a better deal. Make sure the price includes mounting and balancing.

Buy early: Experts say now is the time to buy, when there’s time to do research and there’s an abundant selection of snow or all-season tires. If you wait until the first snowfall, you might get stuck with what the dealer has on hand in the size that fits your car. But don’t buy too soon: We recommend installing winter tires when the daily high temperature is generally below 50 degrees.

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