Tire lingo can be confusing. You may be asking, “If it’s an all-season tire, can it be used in the winter? If it’s a winter tire, can it only be used in the winter? What does all-weather mean?”
Well, that’s what we are here for – to answer all of your tire questions. We’re going to explain what each type of tire is so that you can make an informed buying decision.
An all-season tire is meant to be used in any temperature above 7°C; that means that it performs best in warm climates – the spring, summer, and fall. The rubber that an all-season tire is made with is designed to extract water and provide traction whenever the temperature is above 7°C. If an all-season tire is used when the temperature drops below 7°C, then the tire will become stiff and will not grip the road or evacuate ice and snow, leading to an increased risk of sliding.
A winter tire is meant to be used in any temperature below 7°C; that means it performs best in the winter months. The rubber that a winter tire is made with is soft and will stay soft in cold temperatures; this means that the tire will grip the road and evacuate snow and ice in any temperature below 7°C. Since winter tires have soft rubber, the tire tread will wear down quickly if you drive on them through the summer.
An all-weather tire tries to combine the best of both of the properties of a winter and all-season tire. It’s made with softer rubber than an all-season tire so it will grip in temperatures below 7°C and it has more rigid rubber than a winter tire so it won’t wear down in the summer months as quickly as a winter tire. An all-weather tire will not grip the road in very cold temperatures as effectively as a winter tire. Furthermore, an all-weather tire may wear down faster in warm weather than an all-season tire. An all-weather tire will work best in locations that have temperate weather that constantly hovers around 0°C.
We hope that these informational tidbits help to clear up the questions you have about all-season, winter, and all-weather tires.
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