This is why it is important to carefully choose the tire you will use. There are many options available when it comes to all-season tires. Here are some of the best all-season tires available today.
What are the things to consider when buying all-season tires?
UTQG. UTQG stands for Uniform Tire Quality Grade. This is a standard for measuring tire quality. The UTQG rating system originated in the United States. It is a way to help consumers make more informed tire-buying decisions.
Many things are considered when gauging a tire’s quality. These include various elements like treadwear, and traction. Treadwear gives you a better idea on how durable your tire can be. A higher treadwear number means the longer it will take for the tire to wear down. Traction, on the other hand, gives you an idea on how well the tire can stop in wet driving conditions.
UTQG also measures resistance to temperatures. Heat buildup can occur when you’re driving at high speeds or in hot weather. When a tire gets too hot, it can result into a blowout.
Not only does UTQG measure the safety ratings of your tires, but they also measure their overall quality (https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=48).
Fuel Economy. When we hear the fuel economy, we often think of the displacement of the vehicle. However, fuel economy also rests on the tires that we use. Using an inappropriate tire for a vehicle can lead to higher fuel consumption. This is one reason why we often see tires labeled as for SUVs or coupes or trucks. Getting the right kind of tires can lead to as much as 20% of fuel economy improvement.
Load Capacity. Load capacity is how heavy your four tires can handle. This means you need to factor in the weight of the vehicle. Add to that the weight of the passengers and the cargo. For regular passenger vehicles like vans and sedans, a tire should be able to handle up to 6,000 lbs of load.
What is the difference between all-season tires and winter tires?
Some people thought that because they are all-season tires, these tires should be able to handle driving in winter. Although winter is also a season, you should never rely on all-season tires for driving in heavy snowfall.
All-season tires are ideal for driving on wet roads. You can use them when driving during the summer months. This is because you don’t have to worry about driving through slippery trails in case of sudden downpours.
These tires can even handle light snow. Slush on the road won’t pose a problem when you’re using all-season tires. However, that’s the extent of what it can handle. You should never use these tires when during heavy snow. You should never attempt to drive on unplowed roads if you are using all-season tires.
Winter tires or snow tires are your best companions when driving through icy roads or heavy snowfall. You can use these tires to drive through roads with a few inches of snow on it. Winter tires are designed to safely take you through black ice patches.
What is the difference between tread designs?
When I was just a kid, I used to think that tread designs are just that, designs. However, these designs have their own purposes. They are not there just to make your tire look great.
Unidirectional. These are designed to move in just one direction. These are the most common type of tread. Since they are set to move in just one way, they wear faster on some points. This is why mechanics would recommend that you get your tires rotated.
Symmetrical. These tires can rotate in different ways. Compared to unidirectional tires, these can last longer. The groove pattern on these tires let you even out the wear on these tires. This means that you won’t run through them quickly.
Asymmetrical. These are often found on sports cars. These are a combination of different tread patterns. They provide excellent grip, especially at high speeds.
Cooper Starfire RS-C 2.0 All-Season Radial Tire – 185/60R15 84H
If you need an all-season tire you can get at a reasonable budget, this is a good one. The Starfire RS-C 2.0 is a tire built for several types of vehicles. You can use this in your coupe, sedan, or minivan. It delivers a year-round performance that you can count on.
Its all-season tread designed to provide increased traction and handling. You can count on this tire to have a solid grip on dry road surfaces. The good handling can be attributed to the tire’s continuous center rib. It has a good on-center feel not normally seen on low-cost tires.
I like the four circumferential grooves around this tire’s tread. It works great in channeling away water. This can help you reduce the risk of hydroplaning (https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/hydroplaning). The computer-optimized variable pitch tread helps lower road noise. It also helps deliver a smooth and quiet ride quality even on freeways.
There are two tread steel belts inside the tread. The said steel belts have a spiral nylon overlap. What this does is add strength and durability to the tire. This tire has a 400 UTQG rating (https://info.kaltire.com/utqg-ratings/). These tires are also available in a wide range of 14-16-inch sizes.
One thing that might turn off prospective customers is the lack of warranty for these tires.
- Can help reduce hydroplaning.
- Available in a wide range of sizes.
- Available at a low cost.
- Might not be as good in wet surfaces.
- No warranty.
Michelin Defender All-Season Radial Tire – 225/60R16 98T
This is one of Michelin’s newest tires. It’s a standard all-season tire that can fit on sedans, crossovers, minivans, and coupes. It’s technologically designed to help keep you safe while on the road.
This tire has all-season traction enhanced through the use of a silica tread compound. Michelin’s IntelliSipe technology increases the amount of siping on the tire. Siping is one of the ways that help tires improve traction. It uses thin slits across the tire surface so you can get additional traction in snowy or wet conditions (https://www.lesschwab.com/article/performance-tire-siping.html).
IntelliSipe also allows you to brake confidently when you need to. This braking power is something you’ll appreciate when you’re driving in treacherous roads.
This tire also uses interlocking action to create a more rigid tread block. This allows for a reduced starting tread depth. A tire with this kind of tread leads to lower rolling resistance. You can then save fuel without having to sacrifice safety or tire longevity.
The insides of the tire contain two steel belts. There is also a polyester cord body. When combined, these add strength and durability to the tires. These optimize the tires’ contact with the road while you accelerate, or brake.
I am not that impressed with its cornering performance though. I’ve used tires that performed better when cornering.
It also results in an even tire wear and longer tread life. These tires come with a 90,000-mile tread warranty.
- Can help save fuel.
- Responsive steering performance.
- Helps provide quiet and quality rides.
- Treadlife is not impressive.
- Cornering can be improved.
Hankook Ventus ST RH06 All-Season Tire – 275/45R20 109V
If you need a tire to provide you with maximum traction, this one should be among your top choices. The Hankook Ventus ST is designed for great handling on all road surfaces. Drivers of high-performance vehicles like pick-ups or SUVs will find these tires to their liking.
These tires use an all-season silica-enhanced tread compound. On the other hand, the V-shaped tread design is made to increase traction (https://www.school-for-champions.com/science/friction_rolling_traction.htm). The tread design can improve your cornering performance on dry pavement.
These tires have jointless bead wire and high bead filler. Thanks to these, you get an improved overall steering response. Even the feel throughout the speed range is also improved. Riding comfort is not its strength though. The ride felt a bit too hard for my liking.
Hankook made sure that noise reduction is enhanced in this model. Hankook is the first company to use DDPT, or Dual Depth Pitch Theory, on a passenger tire. DDPT lowers tread noise by using multiple sub pitch technology. This is something I immediately noticed. Compared to other tires in the same class, the Ventus has less road noise.
The insides of the tire have 2 high-tensile steel belts. These steel belts have a jointless dual-cap ply. The dual-cap fly makes these tires durable and sturdy. They help you get an even treadwear. In the end, you get an enhanced overall ride quality.
As a bonus, you also get a rim protector. Rim protectors protect your wheels from damages incurred from accidental curbs.
These tires come in sizes ranging from 17 to 26 inches in size. You can get them with a V or W speed rating (https://www.bridgestonetire.com/tread-and-trend/drivers-ed/tire-speed-rating).
- Comes with rim protectors.
- Great steering performance
- Enhanced noise reduction.
- Not ideal for off-road
- Riding comfort is not the best.
Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS All-Season Radial Tire – 225/65R17 102H
Bridgestone is one of the most recognizable names when it comes to tires. And the Dueler H/P Sport is a tire worthy of the famed Bridgestone name.
It benefited from CO-CS or Computer Optimized Component System. This system maximizes tire performance. This is achieved by the use of an appropriate combination of tread design, and casing shape. Materials and construction are also taken into consideration.
The tires use a single continuous strand of cable in the bead construction. This improves uniformity and riding comfort.
If you take a closer look at these tires, you will notice circumferential grooves and high angle lateral grooves. These combine to provide better handling on wet surfaces. They even reduce the risk of hydroplaning at high speeds.
Among the tires I’ve tried, this delivered one of the best cornering grips. The cornering prowess of these tires is a result of high stiffness closed shoulders.
On top of that, Long Link Carbon helps improve tread wear. These tires resist cracking, chipping, and tearing. All of these are achieved through the use of a special long length carbon structure.
The Dueler uses silica to improve traction in wet conditions. This is achieved by increasing the flexibility of the tread compound.
- Tires resist cracking, chipping, and tearing.
- Can help reduce hydroplaning.
- Great cornering performance
- Not ideal for winter weather.
- Some complaints about short tread life
Sumic GT-A All-Season Radial Tire – 225/60R16 98H
The Sumic GT-A is another great choice for those looking for affordable all-season tires. These tires have symmetrical 4-Rib patterns. These patterns provide superior ride quality. They can even help provide stability while you ride.
Its affordable pricing doesn’t mean that these tires cannot compete with pricier ones. They have great dry traction. These tires have great handling response. For a tire its price, I was pleasantly surprised with the excellent handling response it delivered. The cornering grip is also worth admiring. Even the dry/wet braking is also good.
The circumferential grooves on these tires are not just for show. Together with the extended lateral grooves, they provide traction on wet surfaces. Hydroplaning is reduced because of these grooves.
I like how these tires performed on wet surfaces. The grip is excellent. So much better than other budget tires I’ve tried. Traction during a little bit of snow is decent. Heavy snowfall can get problematic though.
Road noise is manageable when driving at low speeds. However, road noise can get pretty loud when driving at high speeds (https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.3273080). Riding comfort is surprisingly good for a tire of this budget.
These tires are available in several sizes. The size ranges from 13-17 inches. They are available in S, T, H, and V speed ratings. These tires also have a 45k mile warranty.
- Affordably priced.
- Good riding quality.
- Good cornering grip.
- Not ideal for heavy snowfall
- Road noise during high speeds.
Among the all-season tires listed above, the one that stood out is the Sumic GT-A. For a tire this affordable, the quality is top notch. We often associate budget items to low quality but this is not the case with the GT-A.
These tires handle like their more expensive counterparts. The handling is responsive even when driven through wet surfaces. They have a good grip on the road which makes driving stress-free. They also deliver great cornering performance.
I also like the riding comfort that these tires provide. On top of these, they come with a 45k mile warranty.
If I only have budget for two new all-season tires, do I put them on the front or the back?
When replacing just two all-season tires, you should always place them on the rear of the vehicle. Make sure that you get a professional to mount and balance them for you.
What are the most common reasons for all-season tires wearing quickly?
Tire rotation is the most obvious cause of tire wear. However, other factors can also cause premature tire wear. Improper tire inflation and misaligned vehicles are just some of the most common causes of tire wear. Worn vehicle parts and driving conditions can also result into tire wear.
Is it easy to see if my all-season tire pressure is low?
Tire pressure is hard to gauge just by looking at your tires. You tire could have lost up to 50% of its inflation before you even notice it. Check your tire pressure on a regular basis using an accurate tire gauge.
I have all-season tires and winter tires, should I put them on a separate set of rims?
Yes. The rims of your all-season tires can avoid rusting due to snow and road salt. When you constantly change tires on the same set of rims, you will cause extra wear and tire to both the tires and the rims.