Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

All About All-Season Tires

All-Season Tires

Depending on the climate you live in, season changes can be slight or they can be extreme. Some areas of the United States have very temperate climates with a rainy season and a hot season. Others have a short, hot summer followed by a long, very cold and snowy winter. The climate you live in determines your relation to all-season tires.

All-season tires refer to tires that function best in overall conditions. When compared with a winter tire or a dedicated summer tire, all-season tires handle an array of weather conditions better than the others.

How are all-season tires designed?

When tire manufacturers design an all-season tire, the main factors they take into consideration are:

  • Longevity of tread wear
  • Ability to channel water away in wet conditions
  • Road noise
  • Comfort of ride

Other factors, such as cold weather performance, play a factor as well, but to a lesser extent.

If you’ve ever seen a tire ad or pamphlet, you will notice many have a rating for useful life (for example, 60,000 miles). The longevity of tread wear is estimated based on average use under normal operating conditions for different types of vehicles. It considers mainly the tire’s composition and density; it’s ability to maintain traction while minimizing the amount of wear. A harder rubber compound will have a longer tread life but will lose traction more easily, whereas a softer rubber compound will have better traction in varying conditions but is more susceptible to wear.

A tire’s ability to channel water away prevents a condition known as hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is when the tire’s contact patch isn’t able to cut through the water on the road quickly enough to get traction, and is essentially riding on top of the watery surface. Tire manufacturers design their tread blocks to funnel water away from the middle of the tread and outwards. The channels and lines cut into the tread blocks are known as sipes. These sipes spread out and grip the road surface.

A tire’s tread pattern also plays a factor in the amount of noise transmitted into the vehicle’s cabin. Tire designs incorporate alternating or staggered tread blocks to minimize the droning noise from contact with the road. Road noise is mostly an issue at highway speeds, and poorly designed tires are noticeably louder than higher quality tires.

The rubber used in an all-season tire is firm, and can create a harsh ride that transmits the vibration from bumps into the passenger compartment. To improve the comfort of ride, tire manufacturers strategically design the sidewall to be softer and allow more cushion over bumps.

Are all-season tires really good for all seasons?

All-season tires are the best option for all around driving conditions, but they perform best in conditions above 44 degrees. Below that temperature, the rubber compound in the tire gets significantly harder, which increases stopping distance and makes losing traction much more likely.

If you are driving in cold and snowy conditions only occasionally, all-season tires may be the best choice for you. If you live and drive in a climate that experiences several months of cold weather and snow, consider a separate set of winter or snow tires for temperatures below 44 degrees. They will improve traction in cold weather and slippery conditions.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...


Related questions

Q: Brakes not working well in rain

Hello, thanks for writing in. I'd be happy to help. From what you describe, it sounds like your vehicle is experiencing understeer and hydroplaning. I would recommend taking care of this issue as soon as possible, as the symptoms they...

Q: Tire Issue

If the bubble is caused by air leaking from the inside of the tire into the carcass or body of the tire, the tire could blow out without warning which is obviously risky. Bubbles are typically caused by manufacturing defects...

Q: Tires and rims keep getting damaged

Hello. There could be a problem with the suspension on your car. The control arm, ball joint, and inner or outer tie rod could be damaged. This will cause excessive wear on the tires. There could also be damage...