What is the Difference Between Winter, Summer and All-Season Tires?

Shopping for the right tire can be a long and arduous process, especially if you don't know what you are looking for.

When it comes to finding the perfect tire for the environment in which you typically drive, there are two primary factors to consider: the rubber compound and the tread pattern.

The rubber compound is the material with which the tires are made of, and different rubber compounds offer different qualities. For example, Summer tires will be made with a rubber compound that offers premium grip on both dry and wet roads and is designed to withstand higher temperatures. Summer tires also offer less rolling resistance thereby improving fuel efficiency. Winter tires, on the other hand, are designed with a compound that contains more natural rubber allowing them to perform well in colder temperatures by preventing hardening and allowing the tire to remain pliable. This allows Winter tires to offer excellent grip on snow and ice covered roads.

Tread pattern refers to the grooves on the flat part of the tire that makes contact with the road. Like the rubber compound, tread pattern is also specific to tire type. With Summer tires, you can expect the tread pattern to have less grooves than Winter tires because there is a reduced need for water clearance during summer months. This design allows for maximum contact between the tire and the road which allows for improved traction and braking. Oppositely, Winter tires are designed with numerous deep grooves as well as small slots in the surface which work to ensure the tires maintain traction while rolling through snow and ice thus reducing your risk of hydroplaning.

While Summer tires and Winter tires have their benefits, many people find it frustrating to have to change out their tires twice a year. Fortunately, there is a solution: the All-Season Tire. While All-Season tires aren't suitable for everyone, individuals who live in areas that experience moderate winters with temperatures that stay above freezing can save time and money by opting for All-Season tires which offer qualities of both Summer and Winter tires.

At Wilton Auto and Tire Center, we recommend having your tires inspected as part of your routine maintenance to ensure that you have the right tires for your environment and that your tires are in good condition. And if you find yourself in need of new tires, Continental Tires are the way to go!

Source: Continental Tire

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Written by Wilton Auto and Tire Center