EVERYONE HATES BUYING TIRES! I say this because I have have been there trying to make a decision about which tire to buy. It is a decision $400+ decision you will live with for many miles. Well Today we are going to help cut through some of the confusion and hopefully help you make a great decision on your next set of tires. This is the first part of a multipart series on tires. Today we are going to discuss CAR TIRE TYPES.
All Season Tires
Hankook Kinergy ST All Season Tire
The type of tire most everyone is familiar with is the All Season Tire. They are by far the most popular tire used in the United States. All Season tires are meant to provide a traction in all types of "warm" weather. Why did I put quotations around the word warm? Well All Season tires are meant to provide traction when the temperature is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperature drops below 45 the rubber starts to become stiff and it will not grip the road as well. It is possible to use All Season tires year round but they might not grip as well as they should if the temperature gets too low. All Season tires do provide some traction in light snow and if you need to drive in deep snow you should consider dedicated Winter Tires.
Hankook I*cept RS2 Winter Tire
Winter Tires are designed to perform in cold climates and with Snow and Ice. As the temperature drops below 45* the rubber stays soft an pliable. The soft rubber is great for winter time grip but when it gets hot outside it will wear down quickly. Using winter tires through the summer is not a good idea if you want to use them again the following winter. They also don't grip as well in hot weather which causes longer stopping distances in the summer. Winter tires Should always be installed in sets of four. This provides the best stop and go traction in cold and snowy weather.
All Weather Tires
Nokian WR G4 All Weather Tire
There is a tire that is a crossover tire called the All Weather. All Weather tires are a new take on tires. They combine the all season and the winter tire into a hybrid. They can be driven year round and provide snow rated traction in the winter. The rubber used in these tires resist wearing down quickly in the summer. This tire type is great for someone who might drive in some snow but does not want to buy a second set of tires for the winter. Usually because of the slightly softer rubber compounds these tire generally have a tread wear around 60,000 miles.
Summer Only Tires
Hankook Ventus RS4 Summer Tire
Now a lot of new high performance cars are coming on the scene with SUMMER ONLY tires. These tires use extremely soft rubber to provide excellent grip in the warm and hot summer months. Summer tires should not ever be used below 45*. The rubber becomes very hard and does not grip the road. They seem as though you are driving on ice. It is either best to have winter tires or not drive this car when the temperature drops.
In the next post I am going to cover the different ratings on the side of the tires.