All-Season Treads: The Utility Player For Your Summer Road Trip
Your tires are indispensable and crucial to your safety because they work with other parts of your vehicle to stop, start, and steer properly. Choosing the right treads for your spring and summer excursions presents a bewildering list of choices.
“An all-season tire has good balance between wet grip, comfort, longevity and even light snow conditions,” said Joe Maher, product manager at Continental Tire. “Spring is the time when most people get prepared for summer travel with the family.
“Winter roads are harsh on roads and tires. Cracks in pavement from ice and water turn to potholes in spring as travel increases, and a sudden impact such as hitting a pothole or a curb can damage the integrity of the tire.”
“Look for scrapes, bulges and loss of air pressure.”
A tire sidewall damaged by a sudden impact may not form a tight seal with the wheel rim. Run your finger around the seam of the wheel for places where the tire bead does not fit snugly. Look for bubbles in the sidewall–a sure sign the interior lining has been damaged.
Why do all-season tires make a wise choice through spring and into fall?
“They’re designed for a wide range of temperatures,” Maher said.
Are you planning a road trip to different climates? All-season tires adapt readily to conditions found in mountains, deserts and coastal regions. Though their construction enables them to perform in colder weather, all-season tires are designed for temperatures above 45° F.
Rainy days are no problem.
According to Maher, all-season tires are designed specifically to redirect rainwater away from the rubber surface. Tread patterns are arranged facing the same direction. Space between each block of tread, known as “void,” provides narrow channels efficient at dispensing water toward tire edges.
Rubber compounds in all-season tires give them flexibility in warm and cool weather. They also give them long tread life.
As a result, Maher considers all-season varieties the most versatile tire available. In fact, he recommends them for most drivers.
Reasons to choose an all-season tire:
- Lowers overall costs. A single set of tires used year-round (for areas that have Mediterranean weather).
- Unique tread and groove pattern. The all-season design makes them a reliable choice for different types of road conditions.
- Good traction in summer months. All-season tires have resilient rubber compounds that provide exceptional wear on hot roads.
- Long lifespan. All-season tires are designed for slow wear and high mileage.
- Good value. The versatility of all-season tires also make them the most popular treads on the market and, as a result, they offer low cost per tread mile.
Tire maintenance suggestions:
- Tell your tire service advisor about the kinds of driving you expect to encounter during spring through autumn. There are hundreds of choices for all-season tires, and getting the right ones for your upcoming adventures can help improve driving safety.
- Consider the features most important for your driving: comfort, long mileage, ability to handle extreme weather changes, grip in off-read conditions, wet weather.
- Avoid replacing a single tire since it can lead to steering problems. Replace tires two at a time or all four at once.
- If you replace two tires, install them on the rear wheels rather than the front wheels. That helps prevent your vehicle from spinning.
“If you place worn tires on the rear, your car can spin out of control and become a projectile,” said Maher, who has analyzed tire traction on the Bridgestone Proving Ground in Texas. “The back of the vehicle is very difficult to control in wet conditions. You want your best traction on the rear wheels.”