May 5, 2021
Today’s post touches on some of the key differences between summer tires and all-seasons so you can find the best options for your unique needs and budget.
Read on or contact your local TIRECRAFT for a free consultation and more seasonal tire-shopping tips.
Summer Tires Vs. All-Seasons — What’s Right For You?
As their names suggest, summer tires perform best in the warmer months, while all-seasons are meant to work year-round. But which option is best for your needs?
To help you answer this question, let’s start by reviewing the tread features. Most summer tires are designed with:
- A continuous center rib for improved straight-line stability
- A large contact area on the outside of the tire to maximize grip while cornering
- Less tread depth overall to improve steering feel, responsiveness, and fuel efficiency
- Fewer tread features (e.g. sipes) to enhance grip on dry roads
These tread features provide exceptional cornering, braking, and fuel economy in warmer temperatures, whether the roads are wet or dry. If road performance or fuel economy are your top priorities, summer tires might be the right pick.
But remember: these qualities come at a cost. In the words of Greg Cressman, Technical Services Director for Yokohama Tire Canada, “there’s no free lunch when it comes to tires!” In order to crank up your warm-weather performance, summer tires need to compromise in other areas—some of which may be deal breakers for new tire buyers.
In contrast to summer tires, all-season tires are designed with:
- Fewer tread features on the outside of the tire to improve cornering grip at high speeds in dry and wet conditions
- More sipes towards the inside of the tire to improve traction on wet, snowy, and icy roads, when you’re not using the outside of the tire
- Wide tread grooves that help evacuate water and prevent hydroplaning
These tread features make all-seasons tires suitable for almost any driving conditions. However, since they’re trying to do everything at once, these jack-of-all-trade tires don’t do anything exceptionally well. And while this won’t be a problem for drivers with short commutes and minimal performance demands, these tires definitely aren’t for everyone.
Once you’ve reviewed these tread features and considered your performance needs, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you ready to store specialty tires in the off-season? Summer tires aren’t safe to drive in the winter months. If you don’t have a dedicated storage space, or you’re not willing to pay for summer tire storage, all-seasons might be a better option.
- Are you ready to invest in seasonal tire changes? Summer tires will need to be changed for winters or all-weathers once the temperature drops below seven degrees Celsiuis, then changed back when temperatures rise again, whereas all-seasons can stay on your vehicle year-round.
- How many years do you want out of your tires? Because they’re used all year, all-season tires tend to wear out quicker than summer tires. While buying all-seasons does save on the cost of an additional set of winter tires, they’ll need to be replaced much sooner.
Free Summer Tire Quote And Consultation – Contact Your Local TIRECRAFT
Need more help finding the best tire type or summer tire brand? Don’t fret—you know a guy at TIRECRAFT!
Use the Find a TIRECRAFT tool to contact one of our 220+ tire specialists across the country for unbiased advice and personalized summer tire recommendations.Back