Summer started officially on the 21st June. If you have not changed your tires yet, it really is time to choose something that matches up better to the scorching heat. For many people, it becomes confusing what tires they should be using in the fall and summer season. If you spend most of your time driving on rough terrain, then off-road tires would be your best option. Yet, when most of your time spent driving is over paved surfaces, are the all-season tires really a better choice over summer tires? Here is more information about the differences between summer and all-season tires.
It’s All About The Traction
If you already know about how the different tires perform on surfaces that are wet, understanding differences between summer and all-season tires become easier.
The primary factor for determining traction over slightly wet and damp roads has to do with the tire compound or rubber. The softer and sticker the compound or the rubber the more traction it provides on damp pavements and dry roads.
Roads that are very wet are an entirely different story. The capabilities of tires to prevent hydroplaning is more dependent on the grooves and tread pattern of the tire. It is possible to find both bad and good patterns on summer and all-season tires.
When driving on dry roads, you should be going for tires that are sticky. The stickiness has to do with the temperature and the tire rubber or compound. Certain compounds perform better than others when it comes to warm weather.
The all-season tires are slightly contradictory. This term was first used in the 1970s when the company known as Goodyear introduced a product that was advertised as “great for all seasons, all year”. The all-season tires are factory-made with tread and compound that are able to perform in conditions such as snow. These tires feature a tread depth that is moderate and they typically last longer when compared to summer tires.
When it warms up, the all-season tires are capable of handling the heat. They are able to grip on the hot surfaces, yet they do not handle as well when compared to summer tires. Yet when temperatures start to drop, compounds in these tires remain flexible. This is what offers you with improved traction in the wet and winter driving conditions. What you are able to achieve in the abilities to drive well in ice and snow, you lose in braking, steering, and cornering for the remainder of a year.
If you live in an area that has a range of cold and hot temperatures, the all-seasons are regarded as a practical choice. They are not the tire type that excels in a specific condition, yet they perform moderately well regardless of the condition. An example of one of the better all-round, all-season tire are the Falken Ziex.
The summer tires, ironically are usually more a three-season type of tire due to the tread patterns that ensure more rubber or compound on the surface of the road. These tires feature groove designs that are straighter and a tread depth that is shallower, which make them faster and more nimble. Not many people know that the summer tires are able to perform a lot better in conditions such as rain when compared to all-season tires.
This design does not offer these tires with a long-life, yet it does offer them with outstanding performance. If performance is important to you, then you will want your vehicle to have summer tires.
Compounds that are used in the manufacture of summer tires is a lot more flexible, along with additives which is what causes the rubber to become sticky. This in addition to a shallow tread offers superior grip. The summer tires will also perform very well on roads and pavements that are wet. They channel the water away efficiently, which means you will not lose stability while driving in rainy conditions.
However, summer tires are not suitable to drive in any type of snow. The compounds in the tires lose their flexibility as soon as the temperature gets cold. This means if you prefer performance tires, invest in good summer tires. Just remember to change them when it starts to snow. If the area you live in is temperate, it may not be a great idea to use your summer tires when winter hits. However, for those who live in temperate zones (or you are fortunate like we are and you live in Florida) then summer tires are a good choice for throughout the year. A great example of the summer tires that are good for three seasons includes the Falken Azenis.
Variety may be suitable for many situations, but this is simply not true when talking about tires. Regardless of what type of vehicle you drive, ensure that all 4 tires are exactly the same. This means you either ride on summer tires or on all-season tires and never mix them up.
The summer tires usually feature asymmetrical tread patterns, which means you cannot rotate these tires. You are only able to rotate these tires to the opposite sides opposed to the usual patterns. The all-season tires can still be rotated in a traditional fashion.
The best choice in tires when it comes to your SUV, car, crossover or truck is dependent on what climate or region you drive in. If you live in an area that does not experience snow and ice, a better choice in tires would have to be the summer tires.