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.

How Often Do I Need A Tire Rotation?

You care about your car and know it’s important to have your tires rotated at regular intervals. You also know that getting this done evens out tire wear, which means better handling and traction for you. But what exactly are “regular intervals”? Learn how often you should get a tire rotation, what’s typically involved in the service, and how it can save you from having to buy new tires down the road. That’s more money in your pocket for the things you care about!

How often should I get my tires rotated?

About every 7,500 miles or 6 months.

Most vehicle manufacturers recommend that you get your tires rotated approximately every 7,500 miles or six months. However, some vehicles are exceptions and it’s always best to refer to your owner’s manual. This number can change depending on how, where, and what you drive. Simplify things by making it a habit to get your tires rotated every time you get your oil changed.

What is involved in a tire rotation?

Tires are removed, swapped, and remounted.

Tire rotation consists of switching the front and rear tires. It’s crucial to do this because the drive tires (i.e. front tires in front wheel drive vehicles) work harder than the others. If you don’t swap them out, these tires will wear down faster. By rotating your tires, you distribute the burden among all four tires and ensure they wear down evenly. Take a look at the tire rotation pattern below and you’ll see! At Firestone Complete Auto Care, our expert technicians remove, swap, and remount your tires so they live longer and drive safer.

Tire Rotation Pattern

How do regular tire rotations help me?

By helping you save money and drive safer.

Regular tire rotations reduce your risk of various tire problems—most obviously, tire failure or blowout. By regularly rotating your tires, you’ll be less likely to experience those, reducing your risk for an inconvenient and even potentially dangerous situation. Tire rotations also help improve traction and fuel efficiency by ensuring your tires wear down evenly. This increases the lifespan of your tires, meaning you’ll save money in the long run.

Getting your tires rotated is key to getting the best performance from both your tires and your vehicle. If you can’t remember the last time you had your tires rotated, there’s a pretty good chance they’re overdue for this important service. Make an appointment for a tire rotation at Lofton Motorsports today! We’ll get you rotated and rolling in no time.

Spring Into Vehicle Maintenance With This Checklist

Now that winter is just a memory, millions of Americans will take to the roads to enjoy the warmer weather. It’s time to perform some Car care spring is the perfect time of year to make sure your vehicle is ready for the upcoming travel season.

Whether you’re driving across the country or driving across town,

Exterior:

  • Wiper blades play an extremely important role in increasing visibility. Replace every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering.
  • Check the tires. A simple test to check tire tread depth is to insert a penny into the tread of the tire. If the top of Lincoln’s head sticks out, your tires are starting to show signs of wear and should be replaced. Also, check the tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, which could indicate the need for a wheel alignment. Also look for bulges and bald spots.
  • Give your car a good washing from top to bottom. Use a product specifically made for automobiles. Always clean the tires and wheels before washing the body, and don’t use the same mitt for both.
  • If you find minor paint damage, cover the paint chips as quickly as possible. For a quick fix until you can get some touchup supplies, dab a little clear nail polish on the scratch.
  • Spring is an excellent time for waxing, which not only protects the finish but also makes subsequent washing easier. Before proceeding, make sure there are no foreign particles on the paint.

Under the Hood:

  • A good rule of thumb is that a change of season equals a change of oil. Changing your car’s oil and filter every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first, will ensure that your car operates at peak efficiency.
  • Get a tune-up if necessary. As part of the 21st Century Tune-Up on today’s modern vehicles, the following systems should be inspected: battery, charging and starting, engine mechanical, powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks), fuel, ignition, and emissions.
  • Check all fluids. There are several fluids that require attention, including engine oil, power steering fluid, brake and transmission fluids, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. The antifreeze/coolant should be refreshed every two years.
  • Check hoses and belts. A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning, and power steering, as well as the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps that appear to be in marginal condition may need to be replaced.

Under the Vehicle:

  • Spring is a good time to check the entire brake system, including brake linings, rotors, and drums.
  • Check the shocks or struts for signs of physical damage, such as leaking, rusting, or dents. Also be aware of the warning signs that you may need them replaced: vehicle rolls or sways on turns, front end dives when braking, rear end squats when accelerating, vehicle sits lower in the front or rear, a loss of directional control during sudden stops, and the vehicle bounces or slides sideways on a winding and rough road.
  • If you notice any fluid puddles or stains under your vehicle, it is a good idea to have it inspected. There are several fluids that can leak from the vehicle including antifreeze/coolant, battery acid, brake fluid, clear water, diesel fuel, engine oil, gasoline, gear oil, power steering fluid, shock and strut fluid, transmission fluid and windshield washer fluid.

Lofton Motorsports offers inspections and all vehicle maintenance for your needs! Come visit us and we’ll make sure you’re safe on the road.

Worn Tires

When Is It Time To Replace My Tires?

Tire ReplacementThere are many things that factor into tire replacement. A flat tire or tire that is visibly damaged are obvious reasons. But what are the more common factors? The lifespan of a tire depends on a combination of influences including, the driver’s driving habits, climate, road conditions, tire design, and proper tire maintenance. The big three things to consider:

    1. Tread Wear – Proper tread depth is essential to prevent hydroplaning and skidding. The minimum tread depth is 2/32nd of an inch (1.6 mm).you can use a penny to check tread depth. Simply place the penny upside down into a tread groove. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for tire replacement.

Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to properly grip the road in adverse conditions. Visually check tires for uneven wear, looking for high and low areas or unusually smooth areas and any signs of damage. Motorists should also check sidewalls for gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities.

    2. Climate – The heat of summer and cold of winter can wreak havoc on your tires. Too much exposure to direct sunlight, UV rays, and/or heat, can cause cracking in your tires. If the vehicle is parked outside in the elements, and is not driven with frequency, this can accelerate the process. Extreme cold can also factor into tire wear.
    3. Tire Age – Tires are designed and built to provide many thousands of miles of excellent service. For maximum benefit, tires must be maintained properly to avoid tire damage and abuse that may result in tire disablement. The service life of a tire is a cumulative function of the storage, stowing, rotation and service conditions, which a tire is subjected to throughout its life (load, speed, inflation pressure, road hazard injury, etc.). Since service conditions vary widely, accurately predicting the service life of any specific tire in chronological time is not possible.

Lofton Motorsports is unaware of any technical data that supports a specific tire age for removal from service. However, as with other members of the tire and automotive industries, Lofton Motorsports recommends that all tires (including spare tires) that were manufactured more than ten (10) years previous be removed from service and be replaced with new tires, even when tires appear to be usable from their external appearance and if the tread depth may have not reached the minimum wear out depth. Vehicle manufacturers may recommend a different chronological age at which a tire should be replaced based on their understanding of the specific vehicle application; Lofton Motorsports recommends that any such instruction be followed. Consumers should note that most tires would have to be removed for tread wear-out or other causes before any prescribed removal period. A stated removal period in no way reduces the consumer’s responsibility for tire replacement as needed.

Lofton Motorsports recommends that you regularly inspect your tires. An inspection of the tires should be incorporated during routine vehicle maintenance procedures. If tire damage is suspected or found, it should be carefully assessed by a trained tire specialist immediately.

How to Get Your Car Ready for Summer

There’s no time of the year like summer. And there’s no time better to own a car than when the sun comes out and the summer months roll around.

For some people, summer is the time for road trips, beach getaways, and driving backroads just for the heck of it. For others, it’s the time to let the top down and turn the tunes up. And for still others, it’s the busy time of the year, when kids and their friends need chauffeuring to sports games, movies, and day trips. Whatever you use your car for, it’s important to make sure that it’s completely ready for the summer.

Part 1 of 3: Get the car ready for the sunny days

Step 1: Purchase a sun shade. Buy a sunshade for your vehicle.

Bright sun can easily damage the interior of your car. The strength of the summer sun can fade the color of your dashboard and your front seats. This not only hurts the aesthetic of your interior but can also greatly diminish the resale value of your car.

To protect against this sun damage, purchase a sunshade, and keep it in your car at all times. Unfold the sunshade anytime you’re parked in direct sunlight.

  • Tip: When driving in the summer, try to park your car in the shade as much as is possible. Also crack your windows slightly when you leave your car in a hot environment.

close up of person turning on their air conditioning

Step 2: Check your air conditioning. Make sure your air conditioning is running well.

Chances are, you’ll need to be using your air conditioner a fair amount during the summer, which means you should make sure it’s working well. Even if your air conditioner appears to be working, it may not be working at full speed, which could be a problem during the hottest days of the summer.

Before the heat comes, have your air conditioner inspected by a reputable mechanic, such as one from Lofton Motorsports.

Part 2 of 3: Get the car safe before the summer driving

person hand checking their tires

Step 1: Check your tires Check to make sure your tires are in good shape.

By the time summer rolls around, your tires may be in poor shape. Driving in adverse road conditions during the winter, or driving with chains on, can sometimes cause unnatural wear and tear on your tires. You also may have winter tires and may be switching back to your summer tires.

Be sure to give your tires a visual inspection, to make sure they’re in good shape. If they’re not, purchase some quality tires before hitting the road this summer.

  • Tip: While checking your tires for wear and tear, make sure that they are properly inflated as well.

Step 2: Check your brakes. Make sure your brakes are in good pads.

It’s common for your brake pads to get worn out during the winter. This occurs for a number of reasons, mainly that there’s more traffic, a greater disparity between the resting temperature of the brakes and the operating temperature, and because you’re more likely to ride your brakes in adverse weather conditions.

When the summer comes, it’s a good idea to inspect your brake pads to make sure they’re in working condition. If you feel comfortable, you can check the pads yourself, or you can hire a trustworthy mechanic to perform a brake inspection.

Step 3: Get a comprehensive inspection. Get a comprehensive inspection for your vehicle.

While brakes and tires are the most important elements of your car to have inspected summer, a comprehensive safety inspection is also a good idea.

As you’re likely to drive your car more in the summer, you want to make sure that your oil is clean, your fluid levels are all sufficient, and all the electrical components of your car are operating properly.

Part 3 of 3: Get your car fun for the summer

person washing car

Step 1: Wash and detail your car. Get your car washed and thoroughly detailed.

Whether you have a second-hand sedan with a bunch of miles or a hot new convertible, you should get your car looking good for the summer.

Take your vehicle to a trusted auto detailer, and have it washed, waxed, and detailed, so it looks, feels, and smells like new.

  • Tip: The start of summer is also the best time to go through your car and clean it out.

Step 2: Add some fun to the interior. Add a little fun personality to the cabin of your car.

Since it’s summer, you’ll likely have a lot of people in your car, so it’s a good time to put a touch of your personality inside it.

Add a fun air freshener to your car, and maybe even some new seat covers. Stock your glove compartment with good CDs and you’ll be ready for the summer.

trunk with items in it

Step 3: Keep some summer essentials. Stock your trunk with summer essentials.

When the summer comes, it’s a good time to keep some essentials in your trunk; you never know when you might need them.

Put some water bottles or sports drinks in the trunk, along with some sunblock. If you’re going to spend the summer driving around your kids, fill the trunk with spare clothes, snacks, and maybe some emergency toys.

  • Tip: It’s a good idea to always keep a spare pair of sunglasses in your car during the summer. Sunglasses not only protect your eyes but can be an important safety measure when you are driving in bright conditions.

With just a few preparations, you can have your vehicle ready for whatever the summer throws at you. Summer is the best time of the year, so you want to make sure that your car is never holding you back from enjoying it to the fullest. Have one of Lofton Motorsport’s certified technicians inspect your battery and get it replaced if it is not holding a charge or giving you problems on a regular basis and be sure to have routine maintenance performed to keep your car in top shape.