All-season or summer tires — what’s best for summer driving?

RPM Automotive in Cambridge is an all-season automotive repair shop, from brakes and suspensions to cooling systems and electronic diagnosis. Educating customers by sharing relevant information is one of the many automotive services they provide, and that includes discussing with customers the pros and cons of buying all-season tires.

Many people are under the mistaken impression that all-season tires provide optimum performance in all seasons. The certified mechanics at RPM Automotive know that is not exactly true. All-season tires offer a compromise of tire features, meaning that the tire is designed to provide adequate performance in all four seasons.

For safety and protection in winter driving, a snow tire designed just for driving in snow is always a better option than an all-season tire. All-season tires are designed as a trade-off: for example, what an all-season tire design lacks in superior wet grip it may have gained in added handling ability in the summer or more mobility in deep snow. The all-season tire can provide decent year-round performance in multiple driving conditions. It can also stay on the vehicle without the need to change tires before and after winter. For most drivers, the all-season tire provides a sufficient amount of protection for them to feel safe in most driving conditions.

However, when you’re a driver who doesn’t want to compromise safety, a “summer” tire is the preferred choice for typical Canadian driving in spring, summer and fall, with a fully designated “snow tire” being the best choice for driving in the winter. Summer tires cannot offer sufficient snow traction in winter for the same reason they provide superior traction in spring and summer rain: they’re usually made of a soft, grippy tread compound. In cold Canadian winters, such compounds harden and freeze. A true all-season tire trades a summer tire’s wet-road grip for the ability to stay flexible when temperatures are cold.

In truth, all-season tires compromise both summer and winter performance capabilities and are not designed for extreme winter driving conditions. But all-season tires are still great tires to drive on, as they handle well and are designed for multiple driving conditions.

Learn more. Visit the professionals at RPM Automotive at 225 Elgin Street North in Cambridge. Call 519-620-1774 to make an appointment, or follow them on Facebook.

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