It can be difficult to settle on what to go with when shopping for new tires around Springfield. There are summer tires, winter tires, and all season tires, and many choices in each of those. Talk to most installation services, and they’ll direct you to an all season tire because it’s simply easy. Learn a little more about these tires, and when it may be the best choice for your vehicle.
What Are All Season Tires?
According to Bridgestone, all season models give balanced performance in both wet and dry conditions. They have tread patterns that help channel water and light snow away from the center of the tire, increasing traction. However, as some might say, they are a jack of all trades, but master of none.
The rubber compounds used in the tire keep it pliable through most seasons, including temperatures that come close to freezing. That pliability is important to get good traction in winter weather conditions. However, they generally sacrifice some summer traction to make the tires last longer.
While all season tires certainly aren’t the ideal tire for all people, they are some of the most popular. This is in part because they require little thought when the average driver needs new tires. There are some situations when these tires are the best option for drivers, including the following.
You Don’t Have Time or Space to Change and Store Tires
If you’re going to use specific tires for summer and winter driving, you need a place to store them in the off season. Plus, it takes time to have the tires changed when the seasons transition, even with a mobile service like MTS Express.
All season models help reduce the need for that time and space, being the same tires stay on your car throughout the year. When they wear out, you simply have them removed and new ones mounted. It’s easy, doesn’t require extra effort, and you don’t have to store an extra set of tires.
You Want Maximum Fuel Efficiency
All season tires tend to have better fuel efficiency than using season-specific tires. Drivers using summer tires are generally more concerned with performance and handling than fuel efficiency. Therefore, those tires are designed to meet that need, without a lot of concern over fuel economy.
Likewise, drivers using winter tires are concerned about traction, so they have more tread than do all season options. This makes them a great balance to maximize your vehicle’s mileage. To ensure you get the best fuel efficiency, keep an eye on your tire pressure as the temperatures fluctuate.
You Tend to Stay On Treated Roads
Where you tend to drive will play a role in what kind of tires you want on your car. If you stay on paved roads that are well-maintained over the winter, like those around Springfield, then all season tires may be a good fit.
However, if you live on a dirt road, or travel further away from the city where roads may not be plowed as quickly, you may want to reconsider. All season tires do not provide the same level of traction as winter tires, which are uniquely designed and constructed for extreme winter weather. When significant winter storms hit Springfield, all season models skid and slide more than winter tires.
You Want a More Comfortable Ride
Tires are one of the major factors affecting the amount of road noise you experience in the car. They can also impact how smooth of a ride you experience. Summer tires tend to be noisier and ride a little rougher than all season tires. In fact, look for recent consumer tire reviews, and most that make the list for quiet performance are all season models.
They also offer a smoother ride than do season-specific models. They can provide this because of the fact the rubber compounds stay pliable year round, while also maintaining the tire’s shape. This helps the tire absorb more of the imperfections and vibration from the road.
Difference in All Season Tires
Within the all season tire category are actually three different categories. There is the standard all season tire. These are best in moderate climates, where you don’t have extreme winter weather.
In colder environments, you may want to consider all weather tires. These are better designed to handle rain, mild snow, and light slush than the standard all season tire. The rubber compound also stays softer at lower temperatures. The tradeoff is that you’ll give up some of the comfort you get with an all season model.
The last kind of all season tires are known as all-terrain tires. These are not the kind of tire most people want on their vehicle. Rather, they are designed for use in uncommon conditions not common encountered in day-to-day driving, such as loose gravel, mud, even rocks. They have a much different tire tread that’s more aggressive in its traction. This leads to more rolling resistance, reducing their fuel economy. They are also not designed for extensive road use, so using them as a daily driver may reduce the overall tire life.