The Differences Between Summer, Snow, and All-Season Tires


When a car or truck rolls off the factory lineup, they are fitted with either a summer tire or an all-season tire depending on their make, model, and expected date of release. Summer tires, as their name suggests, will provide superior traction over dry, wet or warm roads. All-season tires, conversely, give your vehicle a good grip on winter roads covered in ice and snow. Though a vehicle produced today will have antilock brakes and traction control, these do much less to keep your vehicle on the road than the tires themselves.

What are the differences between summer, snow, and all-season tires? The tread pattern within snow tires has a much greater groove area and an asymmetrical layout. This allows the pressure of the car to dig the tires into snow and ice as it passes over, greatly increasing the traction (though slightly reducing the gas mileage efficiency). The grip is crucial to safe driving, not simply for preventing becoming stuck but also so that the brakes and steering will not fail.

All-season tires are meant to be able to tackle any condition upon the road but do not have the specification needed for a specific surface. As such, these jack of all trades and masters of none will be able to provide superior control through water, dry surfaces, and snow, but will be inferior to summer tires and snow tires. A good metaphor is that snow tires are a pair of boots and all-season tires are galoshes and you can see how one would be preferable in certain situations. If you own a Subaru you can talk with a Subaru dealer in MA to get more information on how best to equip your car against New England winters.

Whenever you purchase snow tires or all-season tires, it is necessary to get all four tires in a new set. Some people want to save money by purchasing only two tires for the drive wheels of their vehicle, but this will result in a severe loss of traction on either the front or back wheels. This makes a spin out during braking much more likely, as the front and rear tires are accelerating differently. 

Since many people tend to be lazy or forgetful about their tires, they may leave snow tires on year-round. While this does not affect the quality of their ride much, it does wear down their tires since in warm weather they will only dig into road asphalt and wear away the rubber. What's more, these tires make much more noise against solid pavement than the all-weather tires, which have a strong grip but are not designed to get a strong traction on winter road snow and ice surfaces. A Subaru dealer in MA like the Bertera Subaru Outlet of West Springfield can help you find the best tires for certain times of the year.
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