'Tis the Season (Tires)Posted January 23, 2022 8:53 AM
We all know about winter tires. But did you know there is such a thing as summer tires?
Most people have all-season tires on their vehicles. They work pretty well in a variety of weather conditions. But if you want better handling and performance, you might consider switching to summer tires. Here are a few things you should know about them.
Summer tires are good for high-performance vehicles like sports cars and luxury SUVs, but they don't have to be limited to those. They have a different tread pattern than all-season tires, with generally shallower grooves and more rubber that contacts the road. The rubber is made of a stickier compound good for taking corners at higher speeds. Plus it is engineered so it stays firmer the hotter the temperature gets.
Here's a bonus. That design also works well in warm, wet weather. It makes sense, since more the more rubber that's touching the concrete or asphalt when it's slippery out, the better the traction.
There are some things to be aware of with summer tires. They often have asymmetrical or unidirectional tread patterns. That sometimes limits the way these tires can be rotated on a vehicle. Another thing to remember is it is NOT a good idea to use summer tires in any wintery conditions. They lose traction as the temperature heads toward the freezing range and below since that rubber that's designed to stay firm at warm temperatures gets hard as a rock when they freeze.
But in warmer weather, summer tires can increase your braking and cornering capabilities. Plus you'll notice more grip at faster speeds and higher temperatures than all-season tires. So think about discussing summer tires with your service advisor to see if they'd be a good fit for the type of driving you do. He or she will offer you some choices that are designed to meet your vehicle's specs.
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