Ahh, summertime has come to much of North America, and if it hasn’t come yet: don’t worry, it will. This change means lots of things, not least of which is summer travel, and planned summer road-tripping may have you thinking about tires. So what’s the difference between winter wheels and summer ones? Here’s a quick look:
Is All-Season Really All That?
Yes and no. All-season tires are always a compromise, designed to give drivers adequate performance year round. Wet grip is sacrificed for mobility in the snow. For best performance, you’ll have to do the hard thing and swap out summer tires for winter tires, and back again.
Why Summer Tires Aren’t Good in Snow
Summer tires (also known as regular or 3-season tires) don’t function well in the snow because their soft and strong-gripping tread compound, which deals with rain so nicely, hardens at freezing temperatures. As the tire hardens, the grip weakens. Add snow to this, and you’ve got a bad combination.
I Live in a Place Without Snow, So…
Hey, good for you! Some of us aren’t so lucky. If you do live someplace where it never (or rarely ever) snows (like right here in California!), you’re fine with a “regular” three-season tire. If you live someplace with snow, however, better give an all season set or swap out your regular tires for winter tires before the first snowball fight.
Think it’s time to buy some new summer tires in Burbank? Check out Discount Tire Centers. And leave us a comment: when do you swap out your regular tires for winter tires?
Photo courtesy of Steve Arnold