All Weather Vs All Season Tires – What To Consider
Tires aren’t just those rubbery round rings that you have to top up with air periodically and swear at whenever they go flat. They are what connect your vehicle to the road and enable it to accelerate, brake, and steer. The best electronics and most competent driver in the world can’t manage much without the right set of tires.
You may be aware of low-profile tires, off-road tires, mud tires, and racing slicks, but did you know that there are tires for different weather and seasons? Winter tires are an obvious one, especially if you live in the Northern states of the USA, Canada, or any other country that experiences snow. What about all-weather and all-season tires? That’s what we do in this article that looks at all-weather vs all-season tires and will help you make the best choice.
No matter what your tire needs are, you’re bound to find something in our dedicated tires section, so why not have a look right now or after you read this article?
What Are All Season Tires?
The term “all-season” is a misnomer because these tires cannot perform well below temperatures of 44F (7C). They do not meet the Rubber Association of Canada’s severe snow safety patterns and aren’t ideal for use in heavy snow and icy conditions. For that, you’re going to want dedicated winter tires.
That’s why all-season tires are more commonly known as three-season tires in areas with moderate to harsh winters. They have tread patterns designed to reduce rolling resistance and noise and work well in spring, summer, and autumn under warm, dry and mildly wet conditions. If you live in an area with warm summers, low to moderate rainfall, and mild winters, or if you also have a set of winter tires in the garage, these are your best bet to get you through most of the year since winter tires are not ideal in warm and dry conditions, or under spirited driving.
What Are All Weather Tires?
All-weather tires are not pure winter tires, strictly speaking. However, they are designed to perform reliably at temperatures below 44F (7C) and cope with mild winters that encounter heavy rainfall with moderate slush and snow. They have a noticeably more aggressive tread pattern and can be slightly noisier than all-season tires on dry pavement, but it’s not a significant trade-off.
If you don’t want to or can’t have a separate set of tires in the garage for winter, you could get by with all-weather tires, although you should check the local laws that may mandate winter tires for specific conditions and periods of the year.
Which Tire Type Is Right for You?
So which tire type is right for you? We’ve put together some considerations that you can make when choosing.
Am I legally mandated to use winter tires?
If you’re legally mandated to use winter tires at certain times of the year, you’ve got to have a set of winter tires in your garage. There’s no question about it. If this is the case, most people usually pair this with a set of all-season tires for use when it’s warmer. Of course, this also means you need to budget for a spare set of wheels, as it’s a simple matter of changing wheels and tires when winter rolls around.
Can I afford two sets of tires (in terms of space and cost)?
If you’re not legally mandated to use winter tires during the coldest and wettest time of the year, you have some leeway. If you don’t have space in your garage to store an extra set of tires or don’t want to invest in them, a set of all-weather tires will be your best option. They can remain on your vehicle all year round, and while you may see a minor compromise in handling under spirited driving, as well as encounter increased rolling noise, it’s a small trade-off.
Do I regularly drive into areas with moderate rain and snow?
Even if you live in an area that rarely sees snow, does your work or recreation take you into cold, wet, and snowy places? If so, a pair of all-season tires will be the best bet, as you don’t need to change tire sets whenever you’re driving into the mountains, for example.
A little intro to winter tires
If you don’t know what winter tires are, here’s a quick explanation. Also known as snow tires, winter tires have a tread pattern with larger spaces between the blocks and may also have ceramic or metal studs for added traction. They display the 3PMSF logo (Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake), which indicates their purpose. They perform well at low temperatures below 44F (7C). However, they can scour and damage tarmac or pavement in warmer conditions, and it may be illegal to drive with winter tires when it’s not winter season, particularly if they’re studded.
Winter tires are also narrower than low-profile performance tires, and the rubber compound is typically tougher. Not all winter tires come with studs, but it is possible to fit studs to some winter tires, as they are built to accommodate them.
Tires And More From 4-Wheel Parts
If you’re looking for the best tires, wheels, and anything off-road related, 4 Wheel Parts is worth checking out. We’ve got 100 stores scattered nationwide for you to visit and browse from a range numbering thousands of products. Our price-matching policy ensures that you always receive the best value for your money, and our experts are on hand to offer friendly advice. If you’re more of the online shopper type, you will definitely like our website, where you can browse, compare, and order from our inventory and have it delivered pronto courtesy of our six dedicated distribution centers. Choose 4 Wheel Parts and rest easy.