Once the seasons change from fall to winter, most drivers have to prepare their vehicle for those weather changes, including the choice of winter tires or all-season tires.
However, you may be curious as to what all-season tires actually are, and how they differentiate from winter tires. If you want to find out, continue reading for more information on this topic!
What Are All-Season Tires?
All-season tires are designed with a more capable tread pattern and rubber compound to take on different weather conditions, such as light snow, ice, water, heat, mud etc. Unfortunately, all-season tires are not a jack of all trades, and if you have to face serious extreme weather conditions regularly, you need to get a tire dedicated to those conditions.
If you’d like to find out more about what makes all-season tires different from winter tires, what type of warranty all-season tires require, and so on, keep reading for more useful facts!
When Was The First All-Season Tire Made?
In 1977, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company released the first all-season tire.
Before the late 1970s, almost all places that experienced cold weather during the winter had people changing their tires at least twice a year, which was both costly and inconvenient.
Nowadays, the majority of vehicles come with all-season tires, and unless you live in a place that gets severe winters, you might be just fine with having one pair of tires that enable you to drive safely throughout the year.
Is It Better To Get All-Season Tires Or Winter Tires?
If you go with all-season tires, you might be able to get away with not needing an extra set of tires depending on where you live and the kind of weather you experience, as a lot of people use all-season tires all year round.
However, if you get a set of winter tires, you will have to change them over to something different when the winter weather goes away, due to their season-specific design.
Winter tires are not designed to travel year-round and will ultimately lose their effectiveness in the winter because their tread will have been worn down.
Therefore, if you want to go with one set of tires, go with all-season tires and simply take more precautions when driving if you face a particularly intense winter.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of All-Seasons Tires?
All-season tires don’t require you to spend time and money on changing tires for the seasons as long as you live in a balanced climate that doesn’t experience extreme summers or winters.
As well, all-season tires also last longer, which reduces the amount of times you require a tire change.
All-season tires do cost a little more money than buying winter or summer tires, but you should still be able to save money by not needing a separate set of wheels, or paying someone to unmount and remount your tires every season.
However, the disadvantages of going with all-season tires is they are not going to make it through very deep snow.
So, if you live in a place that experiences heavy snowfall and extreme cold temperatures, you might have no choice but to get some tires for the winter.
How Are Winter Tires Different From All-Season Tires?
Although all-season tires are designed to take on some pretty nasty winter weather, they are not designed to take that winter weather on all the time, especially in really intense winter conditions.
Winter tires come with a winter tread compound that stays flexible even when the temperature drops drastically, which helps the winter tire keep traction better on ice and in temps that are below freezing.
Therefore, drivers who live in areas where winter is more intense, and face a higher risk of driving on icy and snow-packed roads are recommended to trade in their all-season tires for winter tires.
What Kind Of Warranty Do I Need For All-Season Tires?
All-season tires usually come with a warranty of 60,000 miles, which is comparatively more expensive than other tires, though there are many all-season warranties that have even higher prices.
However, while all-season tire warranties are pricey, you’re receiving a few great benefits, a set of tires that should last a long time, and ultimately a set of tires that are safer and that can be left on year-round.
How Cold Is Too Cold For All-Season Tires?
Most experts say that below 45-degrees Fahrenheit or 7-degrees Celsius is low enough to make an all-season tire dangerous to drive on, as the rubber compound on an all-season tire will become like ice when tires get below these temperature levels.
However, while many people still drive with their all-season tires year-round, if you’re not an experienced winter driver or you just want that added safety, it is recommended that you switch to winter tires to relieve any winter driving anxiety.
Are All-Season Tires Good In The Snow?
All-season tires are designed to battle semi-cold temps, light snow, slush, and other road hazards, but you can easily find yourself stuck on a road that hasn’t been plowed yet if you still have all-season tires on.
Therefore, whether or not all-seasons work in the snow depends on how much snow is on the ground.
For example, if you’re usually driving before plow trucks have had a chance to clear the roads, then you might want to think about having your tires changed to winter tires for the winter.
However, if you drive at normal hours of the day when traffic is consistent and snow hasn’t had time to make much accumulation on the roads, then you should have no problem driving on all-season tires.
How Long Do All Season Tires Last?
If you’re an average driver, you probably drive somewhere in between 12,000-15,000 miles a year, which would make your all-season tires last somewhere in between 3-5 years.
However, it should be noted that the lifespan of your tires will depend on whether or not you use different tires in the winter, as well as on your driving habits.
Overall, if you use different tires in the winter, you can expect a longer life span from your tires, and if you’re an aggressive or bad driver, you can expect a shorter lifespan for your tires.
All-season tires are tires that are suitable for light snowfall, ice, heat and a variety of other seasonal weather.
However, all-season tires don’t usually work well in heavy snow or extreme cold, meaning drivers who live in colder climates may have to purchase winter tires instead.