Monthly Archives: August 2015

Handful of advice

All-season tires

All-season tires
All-season tires

First of all let’s focus on the all-season tires. We need to mention here that not everyone needs to change tires from summer to winter ones. It depends on the climate and what the seasons are like. But lets consider the situation where we have to change tires twice a year but there is the possibility of using just one type. The all-season  ones. There are advantages and disadvantages of using them. According to statistics the majority of drivers do not decide to use the all-year-ones. In the opinion of some experts, such tires are not safe neither in the summer nor during winter. When they appeared in the late 80ties and early 90ties it seemed to be a wonderful idea for the drivers, who had to change tires twice a year. It is a convenient solution that lets you replace the tires when they are worn and you do no need an extra storage space for those you are not using at the moment. They also have more advantages. You need to spend money only once and keep on using them for as long as possible, whereas seasonal tires need to be purchased more often and the if store them improperly the rubber may loose its properties, so it may appear that despite the fact you do have a spare set, they can not be used, as they are not safe anymore and you need to make another purchase.

From the inside

Construction-season tires
Construction-season tires

The points against such tires are that they are not safe enough. They are made of a rubber mixture combining the features of the winter and the summer ones. Most of the producers use summer tread and the universal rubber mix with larger amount of silicon that they would use to make winter ones. Unfortunately in the opinion of such experts the effects are far from perfect. Let me just mention here that the opinions are divided. Technically, especially nowadays, who would recommend the solution that lets you save money? It is possible that those experts magnify the disadvantages of all-season  tires to bring more profit by selling them twice a year instead of just once.

Defects all-season tires

Wearing the all-season  tires extends the breaking distance
Wearing the all-season tires extends the breaking distance

But let’s move on. Wearing the all-season  tires extends the breaking distance in the summer and in the winter time the thin tread does not move the snow out properly, or as well, as the winter tires with thicker tread.  We have just discussed the cost of the tires. Today everybody is looking for savings. All-year tires are not less expensive that traditional ones. The only saving is that you do not have to buy two sets. However, if you have second thoughts on it, you are using them for the whole year so they are getting used up twice that fast. There is logic in it. It means that even if you do not have to buy two separate sets and you go for the all-season  solution, you have to buy them more often. The frequency depends of course on how much you are driving, therefore, the all-season tires are recommended for those who do not drive a lot during a year and for those who do not have to face severe, snowy and freezing winters. When buying the tires or simply deciding over what you need, you have to take all these factors into consideration to make the best purchase for your needs.

The rubber mixture we mentioned before seems to be the crucial point. All-season  tires combine features of two different types of it that will never guarantee the same safety level as the seasonal ones, particularly designed to work in conditions they were made to work in. Remember that in low temperature rubber gets as hard as stone. This extends the breaking distance. All of us realize how important it is, especially in urban areas when changing traffic lights happen to surprise everyone from time to time.

It is hard to give the best advice on this subject, as it all depends on many flexible factors. Personally I am a happy user of  all-season tires and I am not noticing to many disadvantages. It does not mean though that I am not aware of all the strong points mentioned. Summer and winter tires give you the certainty that you have the best solution for the conditions outside. The rubber is designed to serve its purpose as well as possible. Today there is so much choice on the market that you will definitely find the products fitting your needs. Dunlop, Michelin and many other manufacturers have a wide offer so everyone could find what they need. It is best to decide whether you need the seasonal tires based on the climate you live in and the average mileage you make on a yearly basis. The budget is also important, but as we established, although you buy only one set, you have to do it more often. If you have any doubts, it is best to visit online tire stores and read their advice or the product description. You may also speak to your mechanic or the tire dealer. There is a risk that the dealers will recommend the seasonal ones, not because they are better, but to make more profit on selling two sets, but you can compare everything you find out with your personal experience and needs and make the best decision. Whatever you do, always remember one major rule. Safety comes first. Driving the car you are not only responsible for yourself, but for other road users as well.