If you're mulling over the choice between summer tires and all-season tires, then you aren't alone. For parts of the country that experience the full gamut of seasons, this choice certainly isn't straightforward. All-season tires tend to be much cheaper upfront, and the added cost of switching tires once winter rolls around can turn off many buyers.
While your budget may dictate the options that are available to you, there are compelling reasons to choose summer rubber instead of wrapping your wheels in another set of all-season tires. These three advantages may convince you that it's time to start running seasonal tires on your vehicle.
1. Better Grip and Control
Summer tires have one, simple reason for existing: better performance. Tire manufacturers must make certain compromises to ensure that their all-season or winter tires can handle snowy roads and cold temperatures. Without the need to accommodate these conditions, summer tire design focuses on grip and road feel.
When you equip your car with summer tires, you will generally notice drastically improved handling characteristics compared to all-season rubber. Many manufacturers provide their higher-performance models with summer tires from the factory for precisely this reason. However, summer tires offer improved grip and handling on cars of any type.
2. Improved Braking Characteristics
Unsurprisingly, your tires impact your car's braking performance nearly as much as your brakes. In many cases, they may even have a more significant impact on how quickly and safely your car comes to a halt. Since your tires provide the only contact patch between your vehicle and the road, good tread and proper inflation are vital to safe braking performance.
Summer tire compounds offer better overall grip, and that means they also allow your car to achieve its best possible braking performance. Having more confidence in your tire's ability to handle all conditions can also make for more security in emergency braking situations. Since good performance tires tend to provide excellent feedback, they make it that much easier to feel your vehicle's braking behavior.
3. Superior Wet Weather Performance
Summer tires aren't just about dry weather grip. Most summer models offer excellent wet weather performance, making them a great option if you live in a rainy climate. In fact, summer tires are typically the best performers in wet conditions, offering improved stability and handling in even extremely adverse weather conditions.
Ultimately, your budget and your specific vehicle needs will determine the best tire choice for your car. If you typically choose all-seasons, however, then it may be worth considering a pair of high-performance summer tires.
Contact your local tire service shop to learn more about your options.