Do I Need a Winter, Summer or All-Season Tire?

Friday, November 18, 2011 by Doc Horvath
How to Confirm a Winter PerformerNearly all BMW and other German-made cars come equipped with Summer Passenger tires, as many Europeans use winter / snow tires during the colder months. The all-season tire and M+S (Mud and Snow) branded tire are mostly used in North America as a convenient compromise between two categories of tire compounds to avoid having to switch back and forth between tires as the seasons change. To learn more about the differences in snow traction between M+S branded tires, all-season tires and winter / snow tires, read "How to Confirm a Winter Performer."

From a practical standpoint, summer tires will perform best when temperatures are in the mid 40s (F) and warmer due to the fact that the tire's rubber compound remains flexible. The rubber compound of all-season tires can stay flexible until temperatures get close to just above freezing. Therefore, an all-season tire is recommended in areas of the country that see cold mornings and nights and receive light snow accumulation. And while an all-season may get you through every season safely, the confidence and traction of a winter / snow tire is worth the investment.

If you live in a part of the country where you don't know what type of tire would work best for you, take a look at our Tire Decision Guide.


Comments on Do I Need a Winter, Summer or All-Season Tire?

Friday, October 10, 2014 by John Riddle:
I have a 2002 Lexus SC430 with RF Bridgestone summer tires. Can these be used through the winter in Chattanooga TN where daily lows are in the mid 20s to low 30s and the highs are in the mid 40s or should I change to an all season RF or standard all season tire? I would not use the car at all on snow or ice. If I change to an all season which tires do you recommend? Thanks very much!
Saturday, October 11, 2014 by Doc:
John,
We really like the new Bridgestone DriveGuard all season run flat. See more info here; http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Bridgestone&tireModel=DriveGuard&affiliate=FH3

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