Good tires are essential to maintaining great traction in challenging conditions. Even a car with a top all-wheel-drive system relies on its tires to actually hold onto the road. While drivers should absolutely replace their tires at regular intervals and make sure they have the factory-recommended tire pressure, it is also important to have the right tires for the right climate and driving demands. We are going to pit summer vs winter vs all-season tires against each other to see which one might best suit your driving needs.
Three Signs You Need New Tires
Proper tires that are in good shape are extremely important to the overall well-being of your vehicle. If your tires are in rough shape or improperly inflated, it could be dangerous. If you keep up on regularly scheduled maintenance, you can rest assured knowing your technician keeps an eye on your tires. However, if you do your own maintenance or haven’t had your car in the shop lately, here are a few tests you can try.
Summer vs Winter vs All-Season Tires
Before we get started, it is good to mention that every manufacturer will have different specifications and definitions for these types of tires. The summer tires from one brand may be better during all seasons than those of another brand, and the same goes for winter tires. The breakdown below is more of a guideline. Generally going with the factory-recommended tires is a good idea. Consulting a tire specialist can also get you the best tires for your driving needs in any given season.
When you purchase a vehicle it will generally come with either summer or all-season tires. Summer tires are generally good for spring, summer, and fall. They have a soft and grippy tread which offers great traction in dry or wet road conditions when the weather is above freezing. Below freezing, the composition of the tire will harden and you will lose a lot of the great traction, which can be problematic in snowy and icy conditions.
Winter tires are designed to deliver excellent performance when the weather is cold and snowy. Winter tires are designed to remain flexible and responsive even when the weather is very cold. They also have a deeper tread and unique tread patterns designed to minimize snow build-up and loss of traction. However, if you are in a place with very little snow, these tires can wear out faster and be less fuel-efficient.
With all-season tires, drivers in climates that experience occasional snow and ice can find a comfortable middle ground. Summer and winter tires will offer better overall traction in their respective seasons but can be dangerous or significantly less cost-effective during other times of the year. Winter tires will wear out too fast, and summer tires will harden and lose traction in the winter. All-season tires work well in different conditions.